The Success Of The Massachusetts Bay Colony

1521 words - 6 pages

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 people a chance to meet and socialize (Divine, 94). This also allowed neighbors to watch over one another, creating security among themselves and each other.
The Virginia colonists on the other hand, were unable to achieve this sense of community, as a result of the high mortality rate in the colony. Many complications arose among the people because of this. For example, since the ratio between men and women was three to one, many spouses, especially women, often remarried with children after one of the spouses died. These situations created complex families, and hostility among its members (Divine, 81). However, because of the constant amount of fatalities in the colonies, immigrants were continuously sent, making them the large majority of the population (Divine, 84). This made creating a community in the Chesapeake Bay Colony almost impossible because of the uncertainty the people had about one another. And because this chain of events continued, the attempt of composing a society became a seemingly hopeless endeavor among colonists of Virginia.
Within the colony of Massachusetts, religion played an important role in shaping the community’s people and interests. The reason for the Puritans move to North America was...

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