In the 1600s, colonists from England decided to leave their homeland to travel to America or “the New World. ” The two regions the colonists mostly settled in were the New England area and the Chesapeake area. Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by the people of English origin, by 1700 the regions evolved into two distinct societies. This difference occurred because the New England colonies was based off of escaping religious persecution while the Chesapeake colonies was based off of profiting of natural resources.
Document A was a speech called A Model of Christian Charity by John Winthrop, a Puritan traveling to New England for religious freedom. It was written on board the Arbela on the Atlantic Ocean in 1630. The speech was basically about how the Puritans should leave England and find a new place to be. The reason why is because of what happened to religion in England. He gave this impression that the Church of England, which practiced Catholic beliefs, has fallen from God’s grace and that it was not acceptable for the Puritans, whose practiced Protestant beliefs, to remain there and follow the Church of England.
Winthrop believed that the Puritans should live in a community that focused more on God and religion rather than their own individual needs. He also believed that the Puritans should build a “city upon the hill”, having all the other colonies and the world look upon them as an example of pure excellence in God’s eyes. The Puritans were led to believe that they were choose by God to break away from England, or the Old World, and build a new Protestant community and if they displease God in any way, shape, or form, they would face severe consequences and punishment.
However, even though they escaped the Old World for religious freedom, the Puritans were very strict with their religious views and frowned upon those who had different views. They dictated how the community would practice religion, even those who were not even Puritan. Those who viewed religion differently were punished and faced expulsion from the community. In contrast to the heavily religious New England colonies, the Chesapeake Bay colonies focused more on making a living than what religion they needed to practice.
For instance, the settlers coming to Chesapeake just brought themselves and little supplies to last them through the trip to the New World. After their supply runs out, how would they survive? Hence why colonists of the Chesapeake Bay colonies focused on money and well-being than spiritual enlightenment. In Document F titled History of Virginia from Captain John Smith, it talked about how some of the settlers were more interested in finding gold, trading the gold with other merchants, and making a profit out of that. “There was no talk…but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold…. That was what was going through their minds the whole time. Another example of greed of a natural resource took place a few years later. John Rolfe commercialized tobacco in Chesapeake, turning it into Chesapeake’s cash crop. However, people of the region became too dependent on the cash crop which resulted into a problem. Indentured servitude was established, but this just caused land to become scarce and expensive. This caused plantations to separate people and slow socialization rather than unite them through God like Winthrop wanted the Puritans to do.
There was nothing there about God, religious freedom, or fulfilling spiritual enlightenment. As a result, very different societies developed in both the New England colonies and the Chesapeake colonies. Another difference can be found in Document B. Document B is a ship’s list of emigrants bound for New England by John Porter, deputy clerk to Edward Thoroughgood. It was dated the 20th of March in 1635 in Weymouth. A majority of the list were big families. The families included a husband, wife, sons, daughters, their servants, the occupants’ ages, and some others like a kinswoman or tailor.
One can be made to believe that the New England colony was also very family-oriented. The New England colony was not only heavily religious, but one can conclude that the Puritans wanted to spread their way of Christianity to even younger generations to keep their beliefs alive. While emigrants to New England were mostly made up of families, the ones headed to Chesapeake were different. An example of that is Document C. In Document C, it included a ship’s list of emigrants bound for Virginia. It was dated Ultimo July of 1635.
At the top of the list, there is a little note explaining that the names below were transported to Virginia and embarked in the Merchant’s Hope, a ship owned by a wealthy ship owner. They were examined by the minister of Gravesend, touching their conformity to the Church discipline of England and that they have taken oaths of allegiance and supremacy. Unlike like the one in Document B, this list was not separated by families. In fact, there were no families listed at all. The people listed in Document C were of independent individuals and their age at the time.
The ship’s list consisted of mostly young men between the ages of 14 through the mid-twenties. There was a handful of men ages 30 and up. About 11 young women ranging from ages 14 to 24 were also aboard this ship. From this list, one can believe that the colonists embarking for Chesapeake did not have families that followed them to the New World; that they left home and came to Chesapeake all on their own. Even at the tender age of 14, young settlers decided to make a better life in the New World more than the Old World. Some were probably runaways or were sent to financially help their families back in England.
Others probably just wanted a fresh new life in a different part of the world. One other difference can be found in Documents D and E. The source of Document D is the Articles of Agreement in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1636. It was basically an agreement of the Puritans of New England had to agree to. Puritans of Springfield had to make an oath to follow God’s grace as soon as they can with convenient speed and how their towns would be divided up. In Document E, the source was Wage and Price Regulations in Connecticut in 1676. This was about rules and regulations of prices and wages regarding workmen and traders.
The source states that workmen and traders should have reasonable wages and prices and to take God into consideration when pricing and waging. Those who take matters into their own hands and only fulfilling their wants and needs without regarding either God or others would be punished. From these two documents, one can conclude that the Puritans of the New England colonies included religion in whatever they did with no exceptions. The Puritans always took God into consideration in whatever they did in order to life a religious, sin-free life.
In conclusion, the difference between the New England colony and the Chesapeake colony is that the New England area was created by Puritans to escape religious persecution while the Chesapeake area was created to gain profit from resources. Because of these differences, both New England colonies and Chesapeake colonies took different paths in how they were leading their towns and what they believed was more important. However, even though both areas had their struggles and different views of society, both ended leading successful colonies and became what they are today.