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Jamestown Vs. The Chesapeake Bay Colonies

1431 words - 6 pages

The major goal of the English explorers during the first sixty years of the seventeenth century was to resettle themselves upon a new territory. Most of the settlers had never set foot upon the soil of the new land and it was necessary for them to acclimate themselves with their brand new environment. This severance from their motherland, England, enabled the new settlers to develop a way of living which with a bit more autonomy than the lives they had been living in England. The Atlantic Ocean made this possible because England could not keep an authoritative watch over their colonies form across one of the largest bodies of water on the face of the earth. In the year 1607 the first everlasting settlement was made in the English American colony of Virginia. Twenty-seven years later the colony of Maryland was founded, thus creating the Chesapeake colonies. In 1620, another settlement started in Plymouth and exploded throughout the following years into Massachusetts Bay and then into the newly established colonies of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Haven creating the New England colonies (Greene 39). Even though all of the new English settlements derived from the same mother country; these two areas of English colonization, New England and Chesapeake Bay grew very diverse from each other.The beginning of the colonization of New England started in the year 1620 in Plymouth. Plymouth was the first permanent settlement in New England and was founded about thirteen years after Jamestown, Virginia. At the start of the colonization of New England, the New Englanders faced few hardships. For example, the majority of the immigrants that migrated to New England did so with their families and these families came as established members of English communities. Thus allowing the population to grow and stabilize by reproduction. Also, the environment was for the most part free of diseases, and this greatly lowered mortality rates, which in turn increased the population significantly. The people of New England were furthermore fortunate enough not to suffer food shortages during the first winter. Also, the ties between the New English settlers and the Native American Indians were, for the most part, harmonious.After the burst of immigration to Massachusetts between 1630 and 1642 about twenty-five thousand more Englishmen migrated to New England, and seventy percent of these people coming in well-established families. The age and sex-ratio of New England quickly came to resemble that of its mother country (45-46). Several strong Patriarchal and extended families also helped to maintain order in society. The attachment of people to their communities and the belief that untamed wilderness and savage Native Americans represented nature, people were reluctant to spread out and move away from their communities. The acceptance of magistrates as communal leaders and authoritative figures by the vast majority of the population allowed there to be a sense of order and...

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