The Chesapeake region consists of Maryland and Virginia, and the New England colonies consists of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Even though they were both settled around the same time period, 1607 to 1700, the two regions differ greatly. From the time period of their original settlement in 1607, the Chesapeake region developed differently from the New England colonies due to their differences in geography, motives for settlement and the socioeconomic backgrounds of their original settlers.The Chesapeake region had many geographic differences compared to the New England colonies, which caused the region to develop much differently. Both of these regions had cold climates, making the winters difficult for both groups of settlers. Even though the New England colonies had a diverse range of geography, from rocky and sandy soil to fertile river valleys, their land was more suitable for small scale farming which brought in less income. In contrast, the Chesapeake region had “so many vast rivers”, making the land more suitable for large scale farming and cash crops, such as tobacco and rice (document G).
The Chesapeake region settlers also had different motives than the New England settlers, which was a very important, contributing factor in why the Chesapeake region developed differently. Both regions were a safe haven for particular regions, Puritans in New England and Catholics in the Chesapeake. However, in the Chesapeake region, the most common motives were to make money by either farming or searching for luxury items such as gold (document F). Because of these particular motives, settlers did not set up the necessary housing and grow the sufficient amount of food in order to survive; causing many to die (document F).The motives also caused competition between the settlers, which hindered the idea of a ‘group settlement’.
Moreover, since the settlers in New England were searching for land where they could express religious freedom, they were less of a threat to the Native Americans. However, because the Chesapeake settlers were encroaching on the natives’ land, their relations with the Native Americans were not good and there was a lot of tension (document G). The socioeconomic backgrounds of the original Chesapeake settlers compared to the original New England settlers varied momentously.The emigrants bound for the Chesapeake region mostly consisted of gentlemen with a couple of women; whereas the New England emigrants largely consisted of nuclear families with young children and servants (documents B and C). These different social groups played the most significant role in why the regions developed differently. Because the Chesapeake settlers primarily consisted of men, there was less of a chance to populate the area and expand their settlements.
Conversely, New England settlers expanded very well due to the fact that they had great population growth because of the nuclear family aspect.The more people they had in their settlement, the more work they could get done to improve their settlement. New England settlers also worked as a team rather than competitively like the Chesapeake settlers, which worked in the New England settlers’ favor (document D). Additionally, the New England settlers also had the advantage of their original jobs before the migration to the New World. Puritans and Separatists were mostly highly educated merchants, farmers, or artisans.
These skills from their former jobs would help them in their new life in order to survive.In contrast, the Chesapeake settlers were mostly gentlemen who were appointed by the crown to come over to the New World. They had no skills from their former daily lives that would help them in the New World. The Chesapeake region and the New England colonies developed differently from 1607 to 1700 due to their unlike climates, economies, treatment of Native Americans, social groups, political choices, and religion groups. Nevertheless, the two regions also had similarities in addition to these differences. All of these factors equally contributed to these two, still-today diverse, regions of the United States.