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Differences Among Colonial Virginia and New England

  • Date Submitted: 04/13/2010 04:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41 
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Differences Among Colonial Virginia and New England
When analyzing Colonial America you will see a vast difference in each settled colony. There are many factors that differentiate life in colonial New England and life in colonial Virginia. Major differences can be found anywhere from their initial reasons for founding to their patterns of settlement over the years. (McCreight, Karen) Also, many differences can be seen in their “religions, politics, economics, and social issues.” (Hagen, Thomas) Despite their first settlement being founded only thirteen short years apart, Virginia and New England were very different.
The first colony of Virginia, and actually the first English settlement, was Jamestown in 1607. The London Company, later named the Virginia Company, founded Jamestown for economic purposes. Jamestown suffered in its first years, but thanks to John Rolfe, tobacco became Virginia’s major cash crop and was in high demand in England. (McCreight, Karen) Tobacco shaped the development of Virginia. Tobacco was by far Virginia’s best crop because of the abundant fertile and flat land and a long growing season. (“Tobacco and Colonial Population”) The long growing season basically created the use of plantations, which in turn developed the indenture system. People, mostly poor, young mean, would work for seven years in return for their free passage to the Americas. For a while indentured servants only worked the plantations, but around 1700, Virginia began purchasing black slaves. By 1776, 40% of Virginia’s population was made up of black slaves. (“Tobacco and Colonial Population”)
Not only were Virginia’s reasons for founding and economic ways different than New England’s, but it also differed in religion and settlement patterns as well. Although religion did not play an important role in the colony’s foundation, the most common religion was Anglican. (McCreight, Karen) Virginia also took longer to settle than did New England and in 1624 the London...


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