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Compare and contrast the English colonies

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European explorers first landed on the shores of what would later become North America more than 500 years ago. English settlers ventured out to establish their claims over lands in the New World. Two principal areas they established were the English colonies of the Chesapeake and their counterparts at Massachusetts Bay. The English colonies and the Massachusetts Bay settlements were different economically and socially but similar religiously. The Chesapeake colonies were founded on a basis of mainly economic pursuits and were the principal exports of tobacco, whereas the Massachusetts area settlers were not heavily focused on economics and only exported wood and grain. These two settlements were also different socially, as their settlers were not alike in their social standings and migrate in different patterns. However, despite these differences, they still remained faithful to the Christian faith as was customary from the regions they migrated from, thus making them similar religiously.

First of all, the Chesapeake’s English colonies included Maryland and Virginia. Founded in 1628 and 1607 respectfully, these two colonies were both main exporting area for tobacco. Although Virginia was founded mainly for economic purposes and Maryland mainly to escape Catholic persecution, both shared similar economic structures for an export oriented economy around tobacco. This was in huge contrast to the Massachusetts Bay area which was not as economically centered as the Chesapeake and only exported modest amounts of wood and grain, which were ease to produce for them.

Similarly, the Chesapeake colonies and the Massachusetts Bay area were also different socially. The Chesapeake settlers were mainly indentured servants who migrated to the New World in order to create a new lifestyle for themselves after their debts had been paid. Contrastingly, the Massachusetts Bay colony settlers were not indentured servants, isolated from their families. These settlers migrated in nuclear families, who established homes together. Due to the fact that the Massachusetts settlers were more nuclear, these two areas of settlement also developed different socially. The Massachusetts Bay colony was able to build schools and churches more quickly than the Chesapeake colonies because they were in nuclear families. Another fact that contributed to their differing social systems was the fact that the Massachusetts settlers, who founded Massachusetts in 1628, were not as economically concerned with making personal profits, and had more time to develop socially.

Additionally, the two areas were similar religiously. Although Massachusetts was mainly puritan and the Chesapeake had a wider tolerance for religion both were of the Christian faith and founded their religion on the principle of Christianity. Both areas created churches to worship in the English Christian faiths, even though they had minor denominational differences. However, when comparing these two on a large scale you can see how their similarities in religion helped shape their colonies. Religion served as a common unifying factor in both areas, even though it was more so a centripetal force in the Massachusetts Bay area than in the Chesapeake. Their common root in Christianity enabled them to unify themselves and identify with one another, especially during the Civil War in the years to come.

As apparent in these old colonies, the Virginia and Maryland colonies and their counterparts over at Massachusetts were different economically in their goals, strengths, and trading different socially in their foundations and establishments, but similar religiously as faith served to unify each area individually and then together as a whole.

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