Chesapeake Colonies Vs New England Colonies

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As stories of the New World drifted back to the old, a new start appealed to the residents of a troubled, turbulent England. Poverty had made it difficult for many to provide for their families, forcing them to seek their livelihood elsewhere. Displaced peasants traveled to the already overpopulated major cities such as London, hoping to scrape by. Around the same time, King Henry VIII severed ties with the Catholic Church, establishing the Church of England, a Catholic sect with himself at the head. This led to confusion and dissent within England, ending in the eventual rise of the Protestant William and Mary until the rise of Elizabeth I, when she severed ties with Rome anew. This religious confusion led to an unstable religious climate in England, resulting in persecution of many different religions. Social, economic and religious issues led many to look to the Americas as an opportunity to start fresh, economically and religiously. Although the New England and the Chesapeake regions both started as small colonies, simply hoping to get by in the New World, by the 18th century they developed into drastically different cultures. The New England region consisted of many Puritans who fled England seeking religious freedom, while the Chesapeake region consisted of young Englishmen seeking wealth. Despite their similar hope for a better life in the New World, as a result of differences in topography, economy, religious background and overall societal views, the two colonies had developed into two distinct societies by the 1700s. Before either the New England or Chesapeake colonies were founded, the differences in the intentions of its founders foreshadowed the two distinct societies the colonies would become. Jamestown, the first of the Chesapeake colonies, was founded on the premise of accumulating wealth. Settlers traveled to the New World in hopes of economic opportunity for themselves and their investors, spending their early days searching for gold. The gentlemen not only faced disappointment as they realized their search for riches was a waste, but starvation as they had not allocated their resources and time to establish their settlement and plant food. They were forced to face a new approach, focusing on

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