Differences Among Colonial Virginia and New England
When analyzing Colonial America you will see a vast difference in each settled colony. There are many factors that differentiate life in colonial New England and life in colonial Virginia. Major differences can be found anywhere from their initial reasons for founding to their patterns of settlement over the years. (McCreight, Karen) Also, many differences can be seen in their “religions, politics, economics, and social issues.” (Hagen, Thomas) Despite their first settlement being founded only thirteen short years apart, Virginia and New England were very different.
The first colony of Virginia, and actually the first English settlement, was Jamestown in 1607. The London Company, later named the Virginia Company, founded Jamestown for economic purposes. Jamestown suffered in its first years, but thanks to John Rolfe, tobacco became Virginia’s major cash crop and was in high demand in England. (McCreight, Karen) Tobacco shaped the development of Virginia. Tobacco was by far Virginia’s best crop because of the abundant fertile and flat land and a long growing season. (“Tobacco and Colonial Population”) The long growing season basically created the use of plantations, which in turn developed the indenture system. People, mostly poor, young mean, would work for seven years in return for their free passage to the Americas. For a while indentured servants only worked the plantations, but around 1700, Virginia began purchasing black slaves. By 1776, 40% of Virginia’s population was made up of black slaves. (“Tobacco and Colonial Population”)
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Not only were Virginia’s reasons for founding and economic ways different than New England’s, but it also differed in religion and settlement patterns as well. Although religion did not play an important role in the colony’s foundation, the most common religion was Anglican. (McCreight, Karen) Virginia also took longer to settle than did New England and in 1624 the London Company’s charter was revoked and it became a royal colony. (Kelley, Martin)
New England differed vastly from colonial Virginia even though their settlers only arrived a few years before Plymouth was founded in 1620. The Pilgrims actually accidently landed in Plymouth while on the lookout for Virginia. The colonists realized they were out of the government’s restraints and drafted and signed the Mayflower Compact. (Kelley, Martin) The first important sign of difference between Virginia and New England is that New England was founded for religious purposes. They were fleeing their mother countries because of fear of religious persecution. The colonists wanted religious freedom from the Church of England. (McCreight, Karen)
The economy of New England also differed Virginia’s. The colony flourished with fishing, shipbuilding, lumbering, and the fur trade, but they lacked one important good: tobacco. New England was not as fortunate as Virginia and they did not have good farming conditions. New England had thin rocky soil and a shorter growing period. Their farms were often considerably smaller than the vast plantations in Virginia and were mainly to provide for individual families and local trade. New England also held slaves, but a huge amount less than Virginia and they did not depend on them as heavily. (Kelley, Martin; “Tobacco and Colonial Population”)
Despite their first towns being settled within 13 years of each other, New England and Virginia have major differences in reasons for their founding, religion, economic ways, owning of slaves, and social issues. Major differences can obviously be seen between colonial New England and colonial Virginia.
The Essay on Similarities Between The Settler Societies Of New England, The Middle Colonies, Chesapeake, And The South
... societies of New England, the middle colonies, the Chesapeake, and the South had similarities as well as many differences, some being ... (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 35). The New England colonies were founded in search of seeking religious freedom from the ... In conclusion the settler societies of New England, the Chesapeake, the middle colonies, and the South faced different obstacles trying ...
Hagen, Thomas. “Major Differences Between the Colonies.” 11 Feb. 2010. //thomashagen.wordpress.com/history-papers/major-differences-between-the-colonies/
Kelley, Martin. “Overview of Colonial America 1607-1754/ The New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies.” About.com Guide. 15 Feb. 2010.
McCreight, Karen. “Compare and Contrast of the Development of Colonial Regions.” 11 Feb. 2010. //www.associatedcontent.com/article/2063141/compareandcontrastofthedevelopment.html
“Tobacco and Colonial Population.” 15 Feb. 2010.