The Success of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

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In the 1600’s, two colonies were establishing themselves on the east coast of North America. In 1607, a group of merchants, known as the Virginia Company, settled at Jamestown, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay (Divine, 72); while Puritan leader John Winthrop, stationed himself and his followers at Massachusetts Bay in 1630. (Divine, 90) Although both settlements started off relatively the same, the greater success of one over the other has caused continuous debates between many, including the descendants of these early Americans. Some might argue that the Virginia Colony was more successful than the Massachusetts Bay Colony because of the Virginia colonists’ motivation and interest in profit (Divine, 76). However, when efforts for income proved futile, this and survival became the colony's only interests. Therefore, Massachusetts proved itself to be the stronger colony and the most successful, as a result of its community development and social advancement, its economic growth, and the positive influence the government had on the Massachusetts Colony. Instead of having scattered villages like the Virginia colony, the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized communities that were small and built close together. These centers were built so that villagers were able to complete a wide range of duties such as cultivating land or fetching lumber from forests (Divine, 94). This system was especially efficient for finishing these important tasks and allowing time for other agendas that were important to the colonists. The setup of the town was not just efficient. Families were able to live close together which helped create a sense of community among the people. Taverns and meetinghouses were commonly built in town, giving the ... ... middle of paper ... in Virginia did not mean immigrants were free from its rule. Upon departing England, those leaving would take an “oath of allegiance and supremacy” (Virginia Ship’s List). This meant that the people owed their loyalty to the monarch of England, not to Virginia itself. The colonists of Virginia could have been frustrated that their head official was chosen by a single person, a person who had no place within their community. In fact, Berkeley, the governor the monarch of England elected, “brought high taxes on the people, increased his power at the expense of local officials and created a monopoly on Indian trade” (Divine, 85). This abuse of power is possibly one of the causes of rebellions, specifically Bacon’s rebellion. This republic government leading the Virginia Colony was an increasingly stark contrast to the Massachusetts’ Colony’s democratic government.
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