A,Merican Colonies Essay

1314 words - 5 pages

The Early American colonies

We have been one nation for so long that it is hard to imagine a major difference between the thirteen original colonies. After all a quick glance at a map of these thirteen original colonies will tell you that they all where established along the East Coast and where most generally located on a river or body of water. What is strange about this is just how different each of these separate areas of settlement turned out to be. After all they where located relatively close to one another and should have had adequate communication available to them by the numerous water channels close at hand. So why was there such a huge difference in the way that they developed? The two most contrasting of these would have to be the Puritans and other religious groups that chose to settle in the New England region, and the colonies founded for profit in the Chesapeake Bay region. If you look closely at these two concentrations of people you will see that they have great differences in their religion, government, family, economics and the very geography that they where established in. These differences coupled with a very different reason for journeying to the New World helped to form two very unique cultures that exist to some extent today.
     One of the major differences between the colonies of the Chesapeake Bay region and the New England colonies is in their view on religion. The very reason that the Pilgrims journeyed to this new land was to escape religious persecution and set up a haven for people of their faith. In contrast the colonies of the Chesapeake Bay region where established by people who where looking for fame and fortune rather than spiritual enlightenment. This fundamental difference is one of the major reasons that these colonies developed so differently. People in the New England colonies generally knew their neighbors because they worked and prayed with them. In a Chesapeake region so dependent on the cash crop of tobacco, plantations served to separate the people and slow the process of socialization. Although church attendance was required in both the New England colonies and some of the Chesapeake Bay colonies it was enforced for much different reasons. The New England colonists where very concerned with education and spirituality while generally those colonists in the Chesapeake Bay colony where forced to attend church only as a tool to suppress crime among the youth. As a result religion developed quite different in both the New England colonies and the Chesapeake Bay colonies, they would have a dramatic affect on the shaping of the culture of each region.
     Although all of the colonies where under the control of the English King governmental systems where still required to maintain some control over the people. The forms of government used by those people in the Chesapeake Bay region and those in the New England colonies where quite different. In the...

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