New England and Virginia: Settled by English but Very Different Societies

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New England and Virginia were both settled by people of English decent. Both areas were settled at around the same period of time. However, the two developed into very different societies. The main explanation for this is the bases upon which each area was founded.
The Puritans were a hard working, god-fearing people. After many years of religious prosecution in their homeland of England they sought out refuge in the neighboring country of Holland. After living in Amsterdam for a year, the group moved to the town of Leyden. For the next twelve years the Puritans built the reputation of being honest and hard working. However, life was very hard in Holland. Many families did not have enough money to make ends meet. The group resolved that they would lead a better life in America. The trip to America was a hard one, however, it brought the group closer together. On November 11, 1620 the Puritans anchored in Cape Cod Harbor.
The Puritans worked extremely hard to set up a community in which they could worship their god and raise their families. Because many families had an extraordinary amount of children (Document B), it was important for them to set up a good foundation of togetherness in which the children could grow up.
Each man did not work for the better of himself but for the better of the community as a whole. “…being by God’s providence engaged together to make a plantation” (Document D). This was needed in the initial building of houses, churches, and other structures that were crucial to their survival. “[Yet] we must be knit together and work as one man…We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions are own…always having before our eyes commission and community in the work…”(Document A). However, the people who started the colonies of Virginia did not have the same outlook on life.
The Virginia Company, which funded the early settlements of Virginia, emphasized “quick economic prosperity” in the promotional literature that they handed out throughout England. This attracted many “money hungry” young men who were looking to make easy money. While in Virginia these men did anything they could to gain profit. They would lie and steal to make a dollar. “The worst [among us were the gold seekers who] with their golden promises made all men their slaves in hope of recompenses”(Document F).
Few women came to live in the settlements.

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