Essay about Jefferson: New England and Settlers

Submitted By olivia122moxie327
Words: 3003
Pages: 13

The Americas were not all settled at once. People came in stages with different racial and religious backgrounds, different reasons for leaving their homeland, and different long term goals for their lives in America. The different components that made up the distinct sets of people who left England for the colonies were the foundation for the growth of two very unique societies. Despite both being settled largely by people of English origin, the Chesapeake Bay colonies and the New England colonies evolved into distinct plantation and crop based, and commerce and industry based societies respectively with different values due to the composition of the original groups of settlers, as well as the settlers’ initial goals and reasons for colonization.
The major variations between the New England and Virginia settlers, in terms of the attributes of the colonists, were their age ranges, the units in which they emigrated, and their religions. The New England-bound settlers immigrated not just as family units with women, children and servants, but even as town groups. As is depicted by a ship’s manifest bound for Weymouth, New England in 1635, the general setup of the colonists was divided into families with the leader of the household, always a man, at the top, followed by his wife, their children, and then their servants. In this manifest, where the delineation of “of Somerset” points to the group’s shared town of origin, the men have their profession listed beside their name. The jobs “husbandman,” “tailor,” and “minister” were particularly common in this manifest (Document B). The presence of job descriptions indicates that the families had specific roles in the community that they would create in New England. This preparedness to accomplish the necessary jobs of a colony led to the quick propagation of cities and small farm based towns where each family was promised, such as in the Articles of Agreement in Springfield Massachusetts in 1636, “a convenient proportion for a house lot” (Document D). Due to the towns’ collective migration, there was a perfect balance of diversely skilled workers that was advantageous in the creation of towns within New England. The husbandmen worked with farm animals, and with their entire families helping, they led to an emphasis on raising livestock in the New England colonies, and the different artisans, such as tailors, led to the development of an economy based on industry. Furthermore, the Puritan religion of the New England colonists, made obvious by a minister taking the prestigious first spot on the aforementioned ship roster, united them as a group with a shared focus, and made establishing delineations within a class system obvious without a large scale power struggle. The attributes of the people that colonized the New England area led to a unique development process and a unique society.
The Virginia settlers were not like the New Englanders. The Virginia settlers migrated as individuals. These groups of settlers were composed of mostly men as shown by a 1635 manifest of the “Merchant’s Hope” which iterated a 64 to 11 ratio for men to women. They were also adults, with the youngest of the typical, Virginia-bound ship being 14 (Document C). Unlike in New England, this made propagation of the colony difficult seeing as there was immense competition for the few women brought along. The slow growth of the population in Virginia led to fewer children, and thus less of the need for schools that was prevalent in New England. The slow population growth also lead to fewer densely populated cities, because there were few enough people in Virginia to allow them to spread out, with the wealthiest men owning vast plots of land and desiring more. The differences between the colonists headed for Virginia and for New England aided in the creation of very dissimilar civilizations.
The colonists’ goals once they reached the New World also differed greatly, allowing for a wider culture gap between the…