Chesapeake Colonies Dbq Analysis

Good Essays
In the early 1600s, Britain had managed to establish colonies on the coast of the present day United States. After the Spanish had settled North America in the 1500s, Britain became increasingly interested in what lay in the New World. The first successful group of aristocrats to make it to the New World had established a settlement at Chesapeake Bay, present day Virginia. The Chesapeake colonies ruled the East Coast until 1629 when the Puritans arrived. The Puritans were a group of religiously persecuted individuals who had broken away from the Anglican Church. These two groups hoped to find a new sense of peace in the New World that England could not provide them with. Despite the difference in purpose and religious views, both the Chesapeake…show more content…
Since gentleman were unaccustomed to labor, there were very few men who could raise crops for the colony. In 1609, the Chesapeake colony had lost three-quarters of its population due to famine during the winter. The Native Americans’ refusal to trade with the Chesapeake colonists also took a heavy toll on their food supply. The colonists had to turn to other sources of food such as mice, horses, and dogs. For they claimed that they had eaten more in one day back in England than they had in one week in the New World [Doc1]. In 1610, a terrible drought and another series of summertime illnesses had set in. The colonists were plagued with fevers, diarrhea, and swellings which caused their numbers to go down by another 50% [Doc 7]. The Puritans had a diet which was high in sea salt which weakened their immunity system and made them more vulnerable to diseases. They encountered cold related diseases such as pneumonia, frostbite, and scurvy. Within the first of two months of their arrival, two to three Puritans died every day. The climate of the New England colonies did not serve them as well. The land was too stony and sandy for them to plant many crops, and the growing season was only five months long because of the long, cold winters. These difficulties put a wall between the colonists and their goals for creating a society whether it was…show more content…
The cash-crop industry in the Chesapeake colony was booming, and the South proved to be an ideal place for the farming of plants with its rich soil and warmer climate. Tobacco soon became the top export in the colony along with maize. Due to the increased demand for these cash-crops, indentured servants soon flocked to the colony in order to aid the labor intensive economy which thrived on their cheap labor. Eventually, indentured servants were replaced with African American slaves [Doc 5] which caused a dramatic increase in the colony’s population [Doc 7]. The Chesapeake colony’s economic success was attributed to their focus being primarily secular as opposed to religious as the Turkish were in the time of the Gϋlen Movement in the mid 1970s. However, the Puritans proved that that was not necessarily the case. Though the climate proved to not be ideal for farming, the Puritans made use of the rich amounts of lumber in the creation of the top shipbuilding industry. They also became experts in fishing cod, halibut, and whales which they would later sell to Caribbean slave owners. The Puritans had also developed a strong relationship with the Native Americans who would trade them the food they needed for new supplies and European furs. Both the Chesapeake and New England colonies had overcome their struggles to become one of the top locations
Get Access