Chesapeake Bay vs. Massachusetts Bay Colonies Essay

652 Words Oct 25th, 2012 3 Pages
Spencer Dennis
Mr. Reagan
AP United States History
13 September 2012
Compare and Contrast: New England and Chesapeake Settlements
The founding of the economic and social footprints in America began before it was even a country during the period of colonization before 1700. These colonies were split up into two main portions, New England and the Chesapeake Bay areas. And though these areas share a few of the same characteristics, the key differences between New England and the Chesapeake Bay are what made each region unique. While New England was formed for religious purposes, Chesapeake Bay settlements were formed mainly for economic gains. Both of which led to contrasting social identities between the two regions. The formation of
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The growth in the tobacco industry directly affected the slave trade, creating a cycle which ultimately resulted in more tobacco produced and more money made. New England, however, took a more diverse approach. Rather than investing into one growing industry, settlers picked up trades such as fishing, shipbuilding, and farming (on a much smaller scale than the Chesapeake). In doing so, New England developed a diverse economy and opened up many port cities, jump starting international trade. Furthermore, the populations of the Chesapeake and New England regions also varied enormously. In New England, the population was almost entirely English, white, and made up of strictly religious families; most belonging to the Quaker, Puritan, Separatist, or Catholic faiths. This differed greatly in the Chesapeake region where a majority of the population was African American slaves or indentured servants. This was all due to the sudden boom in the tobacco industry, which caused plantation owners to rely upon the cheap labor of slaves to make a profit. And because of the “gold rush” in the Chesapeake area, the slave trade itself became the leading industry in the region, and therefore the population depended directly upon the economy. Overall, New England and the Chesapeake Bay areas had many contrasting qualities including their religion, population, and economies. The key reason that these two regions

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