Since England owned these particular areas of the New World, these colonies were very influenced and affected by their mother country. The social faults, political chaos, and economic distress in England during the early colonial years in America played a role in shaping the English colonial experience. The societal issues that were present in England during the 17th century pushed many people to go to the Americas. The overpopulation in England was a major incentive for many to move across the Atlantic. Another reason for migration was the idea of primogeniture, which allowed the eldest son to inherit the wealth; leaving others desperate and in hopes of finding riches overseas.
As the colonists wanted to develop their own form of government, they also wanted to pursue their own form of religion. Religious freedom was one of the main goals of the settlers coming to the colonies. The Church of England was very controlling when the settlers lived in England, and many colonists wanted to get away from a tightness of the Church of England's grip. Many of them wanted to go to the colonies to worship freely on how they wanted to. Although many different religions were explored in the colonies such as the many Protestant religions, the Anglican dominance stayed amongst in the colonies.
The Jamestown and Plymouth colonies were established with different economic intentions, leadership, and survival tactics. While Jamestown settlers had Gold and other economical gains on their mind establishing their colony, the Pilgrims sought after religious freedom as they established their colony in Plymouth. Jamestown colonists were outrageous adventurers: “Economic motives prompted colonization in Virginia” (National Park Service). The Plymouth colonists, however, sought America for a different purpose: Freedom from religious persecution motivated the Pilgrims to leave England and settle in Holland, where there was more religious freedom. However, after a number of years the Pilgrims felt that their children were being corrupted by the liberal Dutch lifestyle and were losing their English heritage.
The Chesapeake and New England Colonies The English colonists who settled in New England and Chesapeake areas created societies with very different characteristics. Despite most of the colonists coming from the same mother country, the settlers traveled to America for separate reasons and thus maintained varying lifestyles. These differences were noticeable in social structure, economic outlook, and religious background. The diversity of the regions was the foundation for the emergence of two unique societies by 1700. The New England area consisted of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Haven.
Colonial Differences of the 17th Century In the mid-1600’s, when the New England and Chesapeake regions first began to colonize, each had the same hopes for the New World. However, by the 1700’s, the two regions varied greatly in spite of both being from England. Physical and cultural differences separated these regions distinctively. And when discussing this alteration between the New England colonies and the Chesapeake region, one must take into account the differences in purpose for colonial settlement and the differences in geography. These said factors led to considerable contrast.
Puritanism and its Influence on Early American Literature The Puritans had a profound effect upon American culture. As a political, social, and cultural force, Puritanism lasted until around 1728. The term "Puritan" first began as an insult applied by traditional Anglicans to those who criticized or wished to "purify" the Church of England. "Puritan" refers to two distinct groups: "separating" Puritans, such as the Plymouth colonists, who believed that the Church of England was corrupt and that true Christians must separate themselves from it; and non-separating Puritans, such as the colonists who settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who believed in reform but not separation. Ironically enough, out of these two groups, were two notable men, William Bradford and John Winthrop, whose life’s work soon became influential pieces of American literature.
Week 2 Essay: A Unique American Culture The 18th century was a time of great cultural adjustment for colonial America. As the colonies continued to fill with immigrants, outcasts, and treasure-hunters, the country began to change, adapting to meet the needs of the newcomers from Europe. Physical boundaries were stretched, old ideas were left behind, and new lifestyles emerged from every side. This change was perhaps most noticeable in the New England colonies. Originally founded by Separatists fleeing religious intolerance in Europe, these colonies quickly became known for their rigid standards of faith.
The excerpt from Clarence Ver Steeg’s The Formative Years tells why people were exported to America. The English were overcrowded, and wanted more people to settle in there new colony, America. The people they exported were low life people like slaves, criminals, and unwanted people. John Winthrop believed that the Puritans moved to England to follow there King, but not follow his religious beliefs. James Adams believed that the primary motive for people to move to America was to not follow the King’s laws.
Question One The English settlements of Jamestown and Massachusetts Bay Colony had many differences. The settlers chose to go these colonies for many different reasons. Some wanted a chance to have their own farm land, others sought religious freedom. Ultimately, it had to do with their pursuit of a better life in the New World. The three most interesting practices that settlers did in these colonies had to do with their health, their pastimes, and their crimes and punishments.
Within North America, one sees a continuation of the social and economic differences that defined the northern and southern colonies. Although differences in geography, economy, and population gave each colony its own particular character and problems, there remained many common concerns, not the least of which was how to deal with or avoid dealing with British mercantile restrictions. In sum, between 1700 and 1750, Britain’s American colonies began to show signs of becoming less English and more American with each passing year. This chapter explores the larger, soon to be ominous, differences between the colonies and England. OBJECTIVES A thorough study of Chapter 3 should enable the student to understand: 1.