A Comparison Between Puritan And Chesapeake Bay Colonies In America

1200 words - 5 pages


The 1600's were a time of global expansion, and the search for a new world where people could start their lives anew and have a say in the way their society was run. After Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas, countries began to send colonies to settle and establish a presence in the vast and unconquered land. The English sent some of the largest amounts of immigrants to the new world. One English group that came over to the new world was that of the Separatist Puritans. The puritans were in search of a new land were they would not be influenced by the outside world and could create a community centered entirely around their religion. After failing to successfully settle in the Netherlands, they decided to head over and try out the new world. The Puritans gathered in the Plymouth area of New England. Another group of English citizens that made the voyage to the New World were those sent by joint stock companies to farm and send a profit back to the motherland. They chose to settle in the Chesapeake region of the Americas where the soil was the richest. Over time these two groups whom were mainly comprised of people of English dissent, developed into their own unique and highly different societies with different values, due to the ideas that the groups were sent to the Americas for different purposes, they established different forms of government, and they featured contrasting economies, showing that a successful society can be grown in more than one way.

One reason for this difference in development between the two societies was that they were sent for completely different reasons. The Puritan people who came to the Americas were separatists who sought to establish a new religiously based community that could be immune from outside influences. While the Chesapeake settlers came to the America's solely to grow tobacco and turn a profit for the joint stock companies that sent them. These differences in purpose are evidenced by the lists of people who first established the colonies. In 1635, the emigrants sent to Virginia by these joint stock companies were composed primarily of young single men in their twenties who could work on the tobacco farms (Doc C). They were not sent with their families and out of the long list of emigrants, only 11 were women. This shows that the stock companies really didn't care if their colonists established a community and were only concerned with making money. The New England list of emigrants however shows entire families, most containing more then four people of relation, who made the trip to the Americas (Doc B). This is due to the fact that the Puritans goal was start a community of religious families who would work together to be successful puritans in the eyes of god. This is shown through puritan leader, John Winthrop's writings known as his `City upon a Hill' speech (Doc A). Puritans were more focused on the community aspect and planned to use their...

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