Essay on The New World: Chesapeake and New England Colonies

Submitted By thittle01
Words: 1069
Pages: 5


In 1609 King James I commissioned the Virginia Company with colonizing North America between the 35th and 45th parallels. The Chesapeake and New England colonies would emerge as the cornerstones of America. The two colonies navigated the world in sight of different objectives, but ultimately through their economic triumphs and the social and political hardships, these colonies would eventually develop into stability.

In an effort to financially benefit Europe, the Chesapeake colony settler’s main objectives were to find gold, silver, a cure for syphilis and a passageway to Asia. The New England colony differed from that of the Chesapeake colony as their main purpose as separatists were to pursue the freedom to worship. After spending nearly a decade in the Netherlands, although fulfilling religious goals, they realized that their children were becoming more Dutch than English. They sold all the land they owned in Europe to finance their voyage for free worship. Nonetheless, both colonies journey was funded by the London Company to make their initial voyage. Even though the mission was different for both colonies they both shared a detrimental first winter. Both colonies also relied on native Indian support for supplies and food to ensure survival. Farming was absolutely essential for both colonies to master, and quickly. Religion was found in both colonies and played a serious role in society. In Jamestown you would find Protestants and Catholics, while Plymouth was made up of Puritans in the very beginning. The geographical differences will play a heavy role in how both colonies would transition from being in debt to building a thriving economy.

Both colonies started off in debt to the London Company and slowly worked their way to freedom by paying back their creditors. In doing so, both colonies were free to own land and productive farms. The time it took for the settlers of both colonies were comparative in that it took the New England settlers 10 years and the Chesapeake Bay settlers 12. The economy of both colonies relied greatly on the Indians, in that, the Indians were the ones to teach them mainly how to fish, farm, and in New England fur trade. Tobacco became the cash crop for the Jamestown and in the end was the only crop that endured the changes throughout the years. When the Chesapeake Colony founded Maryland, it too, became a booming tobacco market that rivaled Virginia. Corn, livestock, and eventually slave trade were also strong sources of income. The New England Colony has a much rockier, less crop inviting soil so they had to look to other sources of income. Economic stability will be found in the fishing industry, timber, and fur trading with the local Indians. Once both colonies were able to take full advantage of what their locations had to offer it made way for great achievements as well as some failures.

John Rolfe was responsible for growing a mild tobacco that he acquired by blending Spanish and Indian tobacco, which flourished, and farming tobacco becomes a major accomplishment of Jamestown. In the end tobacco will survive all other markets and be one of the pillars that held the Chesapeake Colony up. John Smith earning the respect of Powhatten and his 12-year-old daughter, Pocahantas were a huge feat that ensured the survival of the Jamestown settlers. As far as being humane the Chesapeake Colony failed in a big way. In 1705 legislation was passed that made it illegal to whip a white servant unless the court approved it. The same was not done for black slaves, and so the tone was set that white men were above black men. The New England Colony made advancements in government by creating a bicameral legislature best defined as a ‘body of liberties’ and very well could have been histories first ‘Bill of Rights’. The foundation of this progressive way of life had a lot to do with the ‘Mayflower Compact’ where 100 signed the compact stating that the majority will rule on