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Colonization In America Essay

1886 words - 8 pages

England began colonizing America in the 1600s, when religious and political dissenters of the changes imposed by the Stuart monarchy launched one of the largest migrations in written history – The Great Migration – in search of a new life free from persecution and open to numerous employment opportunities. Each emigrant brought with him/her a blueprint in his mind of recreating the culture he left behind, yet, by 1700, the regions of New England and the Chesapeake region had evolved into two distinct societies. Whether their motive for emigration was to attain a second chance to mend failures, to seek an oasis that provided religious freedom, or perhaps to find a place to preserve the vanishing past of England, the settlers basically sought to find better conditions of daily life. By 1700s, their lifestyles became distinguishable due to several key factors: the characteristics of the settlers, the land, and their goals in their new homes.
Age played a significant role in fostering differences among the two settlements. By 1640, New England had come to include Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Settlers of New England were mainly families, with the male of the household being somewhere in his thirties or forties. The society, thus, was predominated by families, where quantity of people of both genders remained fairly balanced. According to Hawke, their age made them more determined to preserve a way of life known back home (Hawke, 16). Because the men were mostly middle-aged men, with a conservative mind, many came expecting to stay, and were called "planters". They were determined and well equipped to start a farming life in the fertile lands in America.
Settlers in the Chesapeake region, however, differed greatly from those in New England. Emigrants for Virginia were mostly young males in their teens or twenties. Most of the men were single and labeled as "adventurers," rather than the "planters" of New England. The single females, in their teens, were in search of husbands (Hawke, 1). In a consensus conducted in 1624, only 244 females were reported, among a population of 1, 292 (Hawke, 20). The differences in the population of the two societies greatly contributed to the development of each region. With a conservative mind, the New England settlers sought to live a peaceful life, familiar to their former lives back in England. Their hope was to preserve their old traditional lifestyles, rather than to innovate. Settlers of the Chesapeake region, however, being young and ambitious sought to accomplish something different. Because only first born sons in England were capable of inheriting land, younger sons were eager to immigrate to Virginia, where they could own land (Luke, 28). With this piece of land, they intended to make great profits. Therefore, differences in ages of the groups of settlers contributed to the differences found between the two early settlements. Distinguishable factors...

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