English Settlers of the Chesapeake Region and New England
Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by
people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies.
As English settlements in North America began to progress, social, economical, and
religious ideas divided the English immigrants. The settlers journeyed to North America
to meet their individual needs and beliefs. Whether they were fleeing to become wealthy
or to escape religious pressures; all of these settlers came attempting to improve their
lifestyles. The Chesapeake region and New England settlements proved how two English
settlements could have differing societies. English origins seemed to be their only
Life for the earliest Chesapeake settlers was brutal and deadly. Diseases such as
malaria, dysentery and typhoid shortened life expectancy, while nearly half of the
Virginia and Maryland settlers didn’t live to see their twentieth birthday. This frail
Chesapeake region continued a slow growth primarily because a majority of the settlers
were “single men in their late teens to early twenties”(Document C). Because of the
overpopulation of men and the scarcity of women, families became sparse. However,
despite the harsh beginnings of its society, the Chesapeake region continued to endeavor
by acquiring an immunity to diseases and increasing birthrates.
The Chesapeake region also held its own economic standards. When 120 men
arrived in Jamestown on May 14th,1607 they relied on the hopes of discovering gold.
Most of the settlers’ time was devoted to searches for gold instead of the stabilization of
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...regularly preached in New England schools. They also included a
religious attitude towards their economy. “This court ….in the interim recommends (that)
all tradesmen and laborers consider the religious end of their callings.(Document E)”
The Chesapeake region and New England societies differed mainly because of the
ways their settlements were first organized and developed. The Chesapeake region began
with a irresponsible development, which led to severe consequences. An overpopulation
of men with desires to strike gold, slowed the settlements growth by making gold the
only priority. New England, on the other hand, settled as families with family priorities
and values. They developed well organized towns with Puritan teachings. Also, New
Englanders used practical resources to begin the process of developing their economy.
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