Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled mostly by the English, by the year 1700, the regions were two different very distinct societies. This difference can be traced to a couple of different reasons such as the reasons for founding, the different types of settlers the regions attracted, and the contrast in economies.
In 1607, Virginia was founded by the Virginia Company of London. Since the colony was originally founded by this company instead of the crown as a royal colony, the people who came to the colonies had motives strictly driven by economic gain. For example, the History of Virginia by Captain John Smith shows that the people of Virginia spent all their time worrying only about gold. (Document F) Everything revolved around gold and they did not spend the time needed on making sure that they had people growing food for them. Everyone was so intent on making money that no one wanted to grow food such as corn, but rather all wanted to grow just tobacco and the crops that would bring in a lot of money. As a result, many people died of starvation and Captain John Smith struggled to keep the colony above water. On the opposite end of the spectrum, New England was founded for religious reasons. Separatists and Puritans came to New England so that they could practice their religion freely. In 1630, as the first New England settlers could see land, John Winthrop gave them a speech. In this speech he spoke of how they were going there to create a colony on land that has a covenant with God and how they were a “family.” This sense of family, working together and either failing or succeeding together created a more stable community in New England than that which was present in Virginia. (Document A) In relation to the reasons for the founding of the colonies, the colonies attracted different types of settlers, which made a difference in the development of the regions. Virginia attracted mostly young, single men who were probably just coming in search of their desires fortunes. Very few women were present on the first ship over to Virginia. (Document C) This ship list does not have any families, so there wasn’t really any sustained community right in the beginning of the founding of Virginia. In contrast to Virginia, New England was settled by mostly families with skilled older men. (Document B) So, as you can see, New England had a plan for more of a sustained colony, where as Virginia did not. The people in Virginia were planning to go in, find gold, make money and then get out. Last but not least, there were many different factors that contributed to the contrast in Virginia and New England’s economies. The first factor was the difference in the different