The United States of America

Curiosity and bravery led the English to discover the East Coast of
what is now the United States of America. These strong willed Europeans,
determined to find a new world, set out with high hopes and ambitions.

Settling a variety of colonies along the coast of North America, the
English were among the first true pioneers. After several expeditions and
shiploads of emigrants, the English had a divergence of reasons for
departing Europe for America. The settlers of the Chesapeake and New
England colonies were foreigners to the land, but they established two
exceptional but contrary societies due to the diversity of English
citizens. Chesapeake and New England colonies, although from the same
English background, developed distinctions from the very start of the
sixteenth century; their reasons for fleeing Europe, political standards,
family life, religions and use of land.

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With King James I offering a charter for the Virginia Company of
London, a joint stock company, to prompt a settlement in the New World,
profit filled Englishmen could not refuse this gracious proposal. A promise
of golden lands and a new passage route through America to the West Indies,
the hearty men embarked on a journey that, to their eyes, seemed to be
through the vast unknown. Arriving on the shores of Chesapeake Bay in 1606,
they were soon attacked by Indians. Finally having to settle on the James
River (named in honor of their King) the Virginia Company was forced to
make their home within a mosquito infested and unhealthily region.

Beginning their arduous search from the onset, the stubborn men searched
for gold day and night through starvation, malnutrition, and disease. The
Englishmen of the Virginia Company voyaged to America with their hearts in
hope of gold and their minds set on discovering this precious metal and
nothing else.

Meanwhile, back in England around the 1530’s, King Henry VIII had
broken ties with the Roman Catholic Church and was anointing himself the
Head of the Church of England. Soon in 1603 King James I become the head of
the Church of England causing the Puritans to oppose him as a spiritual
leader. Since they could resist him as a spiritual leader and then would
certainly defy as a political leader as well, King James I menaced them out
of the land. Compelled to sail to America in search of religious toleration
these English soon founded Plymouth colony. They were separatist known as
Pilgrims who settled the land in strong belief that they would be free of
religious prosecution. Coming to America for entirely opposite motivations
caused these two colonies to begin to contrast from the very start.

Controlling the colonies dealing with separate perspectives on life,
Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay colony (part of New
England) and Governor William Berkley of the Virginia colony (part of
Chesapeake) had a difference in views on the upraising of a community.

According to John Winthrop all people are equal; the rich, the poor, the
mean, and the powerful. With God at the center of the New England colony,
the pilgrims believed in working together as one for the glory of God,
where the colonists at Chesapeake believed that one man could be better
then another. In 1630 while Governor Winthrop was aboard the Arbella he
writes that the community needs to uphold a fellowship together. Their
unity should be abided by one spirit of peace for everyone is a worthy
servant of Christ. On the other hand Governor Berkeley’s viewpoint was
quite varied form that of Winthrop’s. In a statement to his council on
defending Virginia against a Dutch attack in 1673, Berkeley addresses his
council by telling them that it is their duty to take part in a war to
guard their country. By declaring that Negroes and men in debt are not good
enough to defend the country, he is clearly putting people of his colony in
social order, which is exactly what the Governor of the New England
colonies preached against.

These two adequate governors strived to achieve the best for their
colonies and helped the growth of two separate societies. Both governors,
although coming from highly different backgrounds and mindsets had simular
reasons for the different view points on the formulation of each the New
England and the Chesapeake colonies. The differences in family life,
religion and land draw the final line where these two distinct colonies
divide in difference and development. Fleeing from religious persecution,
the pilgrims migrated to New England in close-knit families. In 1635 the
passengers heading to America for New England ranged from children to
teenagers, to middle aged men, and therefore the New England colonies were
united from the start with a well-off family lifestyle. On another note,
the ship’s list for passengers coming to Virginia in 1635 included mostly
men ages from 14 to a few 51 year olds. A 6 to 1 men/women ratio reveals
that family life was not a necessity for the Virginians. New England
emphasized religion and family values, while Chesapeake concentrated on
slavery, servants and prospering their tobacco industries. Equality and
integrity lead the New England colonies to widespread survival.

In Massachusetts, an Article of Agreement was formed for the citizens
to embrace. The articles incorporate a list that embodies covenants for the
community to follow in order to acquire a livelihood. The citizens of New
England were leveled headed, conservative, and organized. Meanwhile, a
rebellion in Chesapeake against the governor was about to set forth.

Nathaniel Bacon, a 29-year-old indentured servant launched an attack
against William Berkeley due to his toleration with the Indians and their
frustration with broken expectations of acquiring land. Bacon confirmed a
declaration justifying his attack against Berkeley in 1676, by remarking
that some citizens are building larger estates and taking the “public
treasure”, while they (the indentured servants) make by on merely nothing.

Comparing these two controversial colonies exhibits that the citizens of
each community lead exhaustively different lifestyles. While New England
civilians were fabricating laws of agreement to live by based around their
faith, the people of Chesapeake are finding ways to go against their faith
by attacking their governor. This indicates that the two colonies main
focuses are not nearly related. Using slaves and indentured servants for
farming and cultivating the land of Chesapeake, the Virginians thrived on
high profits, large estates, utilizing slavery, fighting Indians and
attacking slaves. On the other hand, the New England colonies were centered
around a Christian background, grounded on family ties, community unity,
and flourishing from a diverse population. The New England and the
Chesapeake colonies, both settled by the English become two entirely
different societies by the beginning of the eighteenth century. As an
outcome of individualism in the two societies, a vast difference in the
development occurred. Ranging from family life to religion, to initial
incentive for escaping the old practices of England, to styles of
governing, these two communities advanced in opposite directions, but also
emerged as becoming unique successful societies of the English origin.


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