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Development and Establishment of the colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts Bay

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Like Virginia, Massachusetts Bay was settled by Europeans. Both settlements struggled to survive at first. They both also encountered natives living there before they arrived. In Virginia there were the Algonquians and in Massachusetts Bay there was a large number of Puritans.

Although there were many differences between the two colonies it comes as to no surprise that they are very much so related in their hardships. Such as in Virginia there was disease, famine and continuing attacks of the neighboring Algonquians which took a tremendous toll on the population. Only sixty out of the original two hundred and fourteen settlers at Jamestown survived. While at the Massachusetts Bay the settlers had their hardships too, the long, harsh winters, the unfertile soil, the lurking red man, often very hostile, and other obstacles common to pioneer life.

They were also different in many ways for instance in Virginia as the population struggled to survive striving off the Powhatan and their food, furs, fruits, and their shelters. In Massachusetts Bay the growth of their colony was phenomenal. This phenomenal growth lasted for about ten years. During this time more than twenty thousand home seekers had sailed into the harbors of Massachusetts Bay.

Sure they had their hard times but they were greatly improving over time whereas the colony of Virginia was greatly depreciating over time and the colony of Virginia had to depend on others the entire time they were there. But not the colony of the Massachusetts Bay they did a lot of he things on their on. Strong houses soon took the place of the early built cabins and herds of cattle, goats, and swine covered the countryside, and ships were soon carrying loads of lumber, salt fish and furs to their mother country. Where Virginia were running back to their mother country because they could not make it on their own they had no means of survival but then again none of them were accustomed to this way of live they all said to be gentlemen.

Both of them did however manage to form governments. The Virginia Company’s plan was “to establish one equal and uniform government over all of Virginia” which in return would provide “just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people living there.” While in Massachusetts Bay their government was established to be placed in the hands of the governor, the deputy governor, and the eighteen assistants, that were to be elected annually by the company. This was very similar to that of Virginia in 1612. But there was one remarkable point of difference; it did not provide, as did the Virginia charter, that the seat of government must remain in England.

This led to the most important results in the building of New England. Consequently, a small party of leading Puritans met at Cambridge in August and adopted the “Cambridge Agreement,” to migrate to Massachusetts, on the condition that the charter and seat of government be transferred. To this Massachusetts Bay Company agreed, and John Winthrop, a gentlemen of wealth and education, one of the strongest and most admirable characters on the pioneer history of America, was chosen governor.

Yet there are similarities and differences between the two colonies they were both pretty much equal in their abilities to with stand all the things around them that was happening and see through to the other better ideals of that day in time.

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