Kelsey Crouch AP United States History Mrs. Webb August 27, 2012 Document Based Question People came to the new world during the great migration for vastly different reasons. Some came to purify their religion, while others came to escape harsh religion practices. Others came seeking gold (Document F) and fortune, while some came simply to start over with their lives. By 1700, New England and the Chesapeake Bay region had developed differently because of religious differences (Puritan beliefs v religious tolerance), economic differences (cash crops vs.
Ship building), and social differences (New England was settled with families while Chesapeake Bay was a plantation society). Religion during the settlement of the new world was very strict and unforgiving. John Winthrop, the leader of the puritans, wanted to create a city upon a hill (Document A), while other colonists journeyed to the new world seeking freedom of religion (Document B). The New England settlers practiced puritan beliefs, and their entire society was centered around their church.
Whereas in the Chesapeake Bay colony freedom of religion was more acceptable in society and everyone was welcomed to settle. Many people saw the Americas as an opportunity to start over and pay off old debts (Document C). In July of 1635, a ship bound for Virginia was full of single men and women who could have been indentured servants or looking to get rich quick (Document C). The economy in New England consisted mainly of shipbuilding as well as fishing, and in the Chesapeake Bay region cash crops were the most valuable.
In New England the soil was not as fertile as in the Chesapeake Bay region, which is why it never became a large farming colony. Instead they cleared trees, considering they had endless forests, and became a large shipbuilding area. A large portion of colonists came in families or large groups to the new world (Document B). Puritans believed in tight knit societies as a part of their religion (Document A). However, more single colonists (Document C) settled in farming regions where religion was not the main focus.
A single man or women would be looked down upon in a puritan society. The puritans were a watchful society, and they believed in doing everything together as a group (Document A). Their land was divided so that neighbors were close, and town meetings were held by the men to discuss what was going on in society. It was very different in farming regions though, because plantations were so far apart. Therefore, they had a representative form of government, much like in today’s society.
Not only did the composition of the land cause these regions to become two distinct societies, but also the development of religions practiced had a large impact on settlers. By 1700, New England and the Chesapeake Bay region had developed differently because of religious differences (Puritan beliefs v religious tolerance), economic differences (cash crops vs. Ship building), and social differences (New England was settled with families while Chesapeake Bay was a plantation society). The New World was a place where anything was possible, and a person or group could be as independent or communal as they wished.