OI: Because of the prosperous soil in the Chesapeake colonies, the economy was agriculturally based. For example, the economy of this region lacked stability because tobacco often exceeded demand. Their economy was strictly dependent on crops. Religion was secondary in the Chesapeake region because most people came to the Chesapeake to farm rather than to escape religious conflicts. Although different in most ways, the colonies both shared a feeling of superiority over the Natives.
The Successful New England Colonies Although the colonists from New England and the Chesapeake area were both from the same origin they settled in America for different reasons and different motives. The English emigrants who colonized the New England region came with their families and were influenced and motivated by their religion. The settlers of the Chesapeake colonies were motivated by the opportunity to make a fortune. The two different colonies had many advantages and disadvantages but when the two colonies are compared and contrasted, it is clear that the New England colonies were much more successful than the Chesapeake colonies. Tobacco was a huge economic mainstay of the Virginia and Maryland economy.
This area was mostly inhabited by Quakers, that saw no threat from other religious groups. Religion did not play a very important role in the Southern colonies because the people living there were mostly individual young men that traveled to the New World because of economic reasons and to make money. Although they tax-supported the Church of England (except for North Carolina) there was religious freedom to some extent. The distribution of the plantations and farms all over the country, in contrast to dense population and cities, also made it more difficult and expensive to establish churches. Catholic Maryland ensured religious freedom to all Christians which was exceptional since most Catholics were being prosecuted.
The Puritans mixed religion with politics They believed in both personal and collective autonomy within each village or settlement. Their faith was known as Congregationalism. That gave them local control over both religious and political matters. The well-known New England town meeting was testimony to their idea of self-government. They recognized no higher authority than the Bible, which was the basis of much of their antipathy to the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic church.
With their religious beliefs, beliefs in God, and the way they practiced the bible, the Puritans strongly believed in the Devil. During the year of 1692, a series of trials that punished people who were accused of practicing witchcraft broke out in Salem, Massachusetts that is now known as the Salem Witch Trials. Due to the fear of the Devil creeping around, innocent people were convicted of supposedly practicing witchcraft. Many were tried in court, but it was illogical because the people obviously were not witches, and they would not confess to witchcraft either even if it would save their life. The reason they would not confess to witchcraft was because the convicted people knew they were not witches, and confessing to it would be a lie, and a sin in God’s eyes.
Maryland was founded in 1634. It was a place for Catholics to freely practice Catholicism. In 1649 Maryland passed the Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, a law mandating religious tolerance for Trinitarian Christians. Passed on September 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland Colony, it was the first law requiring religious tolerance in the British North American Colonies. Although Maryland was an early pioneer of religious toleration in the English colonies, religious strife among Anglicans, Puritans, Catholics, and Quakers was common in the early years.
Other movements, such as Catholicism, Baptism and Puritanism all flourished, which correlated to a faction in the colonies. However, Anglicanism was a natural choice for religion of the some colonists because many of the Englishmen “set out determined to remain what most of them were” when voyaging to the colonies (4). Anglicanism “embraced the whole community… (and) the parish church was a meetinghouse as well as a place of worship” (10). It was much like the Roman Catholic church, however, it had the Bible translated into English (instead of the traditional Latin), called the Book of Common Prayer. This English iteration of the bible was so crucial to their society, that they even followed it quite literally in terms of punishment.
Although the Spanish-American War gave the US ultimate access to the Puerto Rico over Spain, which equated to a great deal of power, many Americans were not receptive to changing what already existed. They did not want the exchange of other citizens in their country, especially if those citizens looked different and spoke different. It was fine to receive the benefits as long as it wouldn’t change the “status quo” of what existed. America didn’t actually claim the territory of Cuba because it would cut into the profit margin. The people in Cuba would work at a much lower rate which would effectively have the ability to sell their products back to the US at a lower rate.
But instead of docking in Virginia they ended up landing in New England, and so it marked the beginning of Puritan settlement New England. Others desired a change in lifestyle, despite originating from the same area, England, Members of the Anglican or Church of England, these men had no reason to search and establish a new way of life, instead they wished to fortify and make their lives better for materialistic reasons as opposed to religion. From the beginning New England and Chesapeake settlers started off creating their colonies disparately. (Document C) Since settlers came to the Chesapeake with the intention of not staying for long, they traveled alone, not with families. At a six to one ration of mostly men, they left England to seek profit from gold.
They originally had a lot of the land that was taken over by the French and English. The hostility they showed towards Mary Rowlandson and her tribe was fierce, but could have been worse. They did not kill everyone, and eventually freed them. It seemed that the only thing that got Rowlandson through captivity was her dependence on God, as she mentions Him numerous times and refers to her Bible as “my guide by day, and my pillow by night” (Rowlandson, 25). When she was in captivity by the Indians, she could tell they weren’t Christians, which frightened her because she was used to always being around other English Christians.