Compare And Contrast Virginia And Massachusetts Colonies

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In the early stages of North American colonization by the English, the colony of Jamestown, Virginia was founded in 1607 (Mailer Handout 1 (6)). Soon after the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1629 (Mailer Handout 2 (1)). These two colonies, although close in the time they were founded, have many differences in aspects of their lives and the way they were settled. The colonies have a different religious system, economic system, political system, and they have a different way of doing things; whether that be pertaining to making money, practicing religion, or electing governors. Along with the differences, there are also a sameness between these two colonies. Each colony has been derived from England and has been founded by companies …show more content…

Just like their religions, Massachusetts gave more power to the people and Virginia gave power to England. In the New England Handout, Mailer describes the difference further, “Unlike in Virginia where a governor is elected from a faraway company in London, and after 1624, by the Crown itself, the ‘freemen’ of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire elect their own governors.” (1) This information describes the contrast in the way a governor gets elected. In Massachusetts, the “freemen”, men who own land, get to vote for their governor, while Virginia’s governor gets appointed by the crown. Virginia’s government also consisted of the Governing Council, rich elites controlling everything, and the House of Burgesses, upper middle-class landowners. The main reason the governments of these colonies differ is the fact that the charter of Virginia created by the Virginia Company resides in England, or in other words it is controlled by the crown. On the other hand, Massachusetts’s charter, created by the Massachusetts Bay Company, resides in the colony, so the colony self-governs itself. This brings forth another comparison of the two colonies; the reason why they were founded. Both the colony of Massachusetts and Virginia were founded by companies looking to make money off the New World, but the founding of Massachusetts was motivated more by religious goals and family dynamics. Erin Bonuso, author of “Colliding Cultures”,

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