Similarities between the Settler Societies of New England, the Middle Colonies, Chesapeake, and the South
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The settler societies of New England, the middle colonies, the Chesapeake, and the South had similarities as well as many differences, some being religious beliefs, labor, and their societies economic standpoint. In the article, “Advice to a Young Tradesman” by Benjamin Franklin, it’s stated, “…the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.” Even though these societies faced different economic and social structures, the overall common goal of each society was to be successful and make profits.
After Queen Elizabeth I passed away, James Stuart took over as ruler, which led the New England society to be based on “religious and economic forces.” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 35). The New England colonies were founded in search of seeking religious freedom from the Anglican Church, leading to Puritanism. Jones, Borstelmann, May, and Ruiz argued from the textbook that the Anglican Church shouldn’t be secured to a monarchy, but should be self-governing based on certain religious beliefs. (40). New England’s economy was also suffering around this time. “New England faced peculiar disadvantages, beginning with the soil…New Englanders found no staple crop that could be sold back directly to Britain to create a balance of trade.” (Jones, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 117). The economic downfall that New England was facing led them to go out to sea to alleviate the economy.
The few similarities between the Chesapeake and New England would be they were founded around the same time period by people of English descent. Unlike New England, where religion was a key factor to their society, Chesapeake was big on slavery, which led to the slave labor camps. The Chesapeake was mainly founded in order to earn money, after suffering from a severe drought they found Orinoco tobacco, which led to a better economy. “Tobacco, grown and picked by enslaved African Americans, dominated the Chesapeake Bay economy.” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 118).
The middle colonies was the most successful because of it’s “favorable climate, rich soil, and numerous millstreams.” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 119). Having the advantage of a well climate, and other available resources made the middle colonies the most productive because of the amount of time and work they put forth, leading them to make a sufficient profit. The South was also productive in producing and exporting goods, and was based on its agriculture. Like the Chesapeake, the South did have slave labor. “Georgia permitted slavery after 1750.” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 119). The middle colonies though, unlike the South and the Chesapeake had a more “balanced economy, using mostly free labor.” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz 119). In conclusion the settler societies of New England, the Chesapeake, the middle colonies, and the South faced different obstacles trying to achieve wealth. Although, the societies continued to have the determination to make a profit, driving each society for success, some societies becoming more successful than others.