New England and Chesapeake Bay Colonies

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By 1700, differences in religious convictions, wealth, and climate transformed the New England and Chesapeake Bay colonies into distinct societies with markedly contrasting cultures and values. Having fled England because of religious persecution, the Puritans placed a greater emphasis on religion. In contrast, the Chesapeake society, consisting mostly of men who were affected by the primogeniture laws, placed more importance on wealth and land. The climates of the two societies fostered distinct economies and new cultural practices, such as the tobacco wives in the Chesapeake region. Although the English made up the bulk of the Chesapeake Bay and New England societies, these influences shaped their ways of life and created two distinct cultures with values that continue today.
Unlike the Chesapeake Bay colony, the New England colonies were founded because of a desire for religious freedom. The Puritans wanted to 'purify' and fix the morally corrupt parts of the Church of England that were created by King Henry VIII; however, they faced discrimination and were subject to violence. The reformers fled England, working together to create a model of the perfect society, with strong family values. The Puritans generally were not wealthy, with many leading simple lives and using their time to help others in their community. John Winthrop, the first governor of the New England colony, constructed the society around family and religion. Puritans established many churches in the hopes that England would copy their model. The religious influences in the society were clear in the New England Primer, a textbook for Puritan children, in which they described the persecution of their people. The discrimination against the Puritans created a s...

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...rn as much as the Chesapeake agricultural business. The warm weather of the Chesapeake Bay created many wealthy opportunities for its citizens, contrasting with the colder climate of New England society.
The types of people who settled in New England and the Chesapeake Bay came from different classes in England, and ended up creating distinct societies based on two sets of values and economies. In fact, those distinctions between the colonies hint at conflict at a later time. The Chesapeake Bay society branched out and became the South, an economy based heavily on agriculture, slavery, and large plantations. The New England colony ended up forming the North, which had an economy based on manufacturing and large cities. Because of the differences in wealth, religion, and geography, the two colonies created a diverse country with opposing viewpoints and ways of life.
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