During the 1600’s, many people in the American colonies led very many different lives, some better than others. While life was hard for some groups, other colonists were healthy and happy. Two groups that display such a difference are the colonists of New England and Chesapeake Bay. New Englanders enjoyed a much higher standard of living. This high standard of New England’s was due to many factors, including a healthier environment, better family situation, and a high rate of reproduction. First, the inhabitants of the New England area were far healthier. Their clean water supply was a sharp contrast to the contaminated waters of Chesapeake Bay.
Air was also fresh and clean in New England. Chesapeake Bay colonists were plagued by disease due to their unsanitary way of life, and New Englanders could expect ten extra years of life because of migrating there in fact, on average, they lived to be nearly 70, close to the same life expectancy as today. Second, those who migrated to New England tended to come over as families, quite dissimilar to the single men who flooded Chesapeake Bay. Obviously, a much more stable family life took root in New England. Single women in Chesapeake Bay were few and far between, and the few that were around were not single for long. It was much easier to establish families in New England, where the balance between men and women was much closer to equal. These strong families provided security and made the New England colonists live a more stable life than those who lived to the south in Chesapeake Bay.
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Finally, partially due to the stable family life of New England, reproduction was much steadier in the north than in the Chesapeake Bay region. New England’s women married young, around 20 years of age, and had many children before their child bearing days were over. They could expect to have at least 10 children, with 8 of them surviving. Chesapeake’s lack of families-and more importantly-lack of women kept reproduction rates from being up to par. Thus, New England’s growth was steady a nd stable, whereas Chesapeake Bay suffered the effects of an extremely low growth rate. Life in colonial America was difficult for all, but more so for some than others.
While some colonists struggled to scrape by, some managed to live well and be happy. It is very apparent that health, family, and growth helped New England to be more prosperous and a more enjoyable place to live than in its southern neighbor, Chesapeake Bay. History has proven that these factors have a major effect on the quality of life for people, and this instance is no exception..