Colonies in Virginia and New England
There existed different characteristics between the colonies who lived in Virginia and The New England. It is worth noting that the colonists came from the same country, but they migrated to America for different reasons, and this made them lead different separate lives. This means that they had different attitudes, values and views and this further means that they treated their colonies differently. The colonists who colonized New England came here with their families and the main reason for their migration was religious matters. This means that their values and their attitudes to their colonies were profoundly influenced by religion. On the other hand, the colonists who colonized Virginia came here for economic reasons and their values and the manner in which they treated their colonies were enormously influenced by economic aspects.
Following what we have stated above, the colonists who colonized the New England came with their families. Many of them travelled with their families in large numbers and settled here establishing their culture. Their main aim was to establish an ideal society which was to be characterized by religion. This is evident upon the name given to this colony by their first governor. He referred to it as the city upon the hill. He believed that in order to succeed in business and religion, the society had to live together in unity and harmony. The colony in the New England did not only focus on religion but also in business and agriculture.
This was different from what was happening in Virginia. The colonists who migrated to Virginia came here mainly with an aim of material prosperity. They wanted to exploit the region economically and make the best out of the available resources. Most of the emigrants who migrated to Virginia were men who had considerable economic ambitions. This brings out the fact that life in Virginia was full of selfishness and family life was next to impossible. Each one of them worked hard to acquire as much wealth as possible. There was an enormous lust for gold which made people do even obscene things so as to acquire it.
The Production in the Two Regions
The colonist who settled in both The New England and Virginia found different climatic zones and neighbors who significantly influenced their way of life and the goods they grew and produced. In the New England, the two distinct groups of settlers who settled here were mainly the Plymouth and Boston. These two communities as stated earlier lived on the principles of Godliness, family life and community spirit. Their main economic activity was trade. They did this with passion as if it were the only way for their survival. The climate in the New England was not that favorable, and it did not therefore, support the development of agriculture. However, they used the gifts of the land such as animals and sea creatures such as fish to trade with their neighbors. Majority of the people in the New England depended on fishing as an economic activity since fish could provide ready and good market from the Spanish and the Portuguese. Through selling these commodities, they were able to import some commodities such as sugar, wine, iron goods and the rest which they were not able to produce. This idea of trade actually did well, and they were able to expand their trade to the oversees. This was mainly evident in their participation in the triangular trade, which involved slave trade.
Contrary to the New England, The people in Virginia mainly started as commercial specialists. This was due to the establishment of Commercial venture by the Virginia Company of London. However, they developed other economic activities such as agriculture. Their main agricultural production was Tobacco. Initially, Virginia depended mainly on tobacco production as the main agricultural output. However, this did not continue for long as tobacco was not profitable continuously. When tobacco profits undoubtedly went down, the people from Virginia shifted their concentration to other crops and animal keeping. Slavery was rampant in Virginia as the rich continued to grow richer while the poor became poorer. This also explains the emergence of the triangular trade which was mainly facilitated by the increased demand for slaves. Some businessmen from Virginia could travel to Africa to get black people who were to work in the tobacco plantations. They believed that African slaves were strong and resistant to diseases. They could also acquire them at a cheap price thus facilitating low cost in agricultural production and enormous output.
Cultural Values in Virginia and New England
In terms of culture, the colonists in the New England were family and community-oriented. They valued each other they truly much emphasized the spirit of togetherness and harmony. They had a strong faith that unity could take them far more when they were disintegrated. As stated earlier, the colonists migrated to these areas with their families and this facilitated social cohesion. They respected morality issues as demonstrated by the strict observance of fidelity in marriage. A person who was married was supposed to stick to one wife and unfaithfulness was highly discouraged. Those people who broke the norms and the expectation of the society were expelled from the community. This strict observance of traditional cultural laws, however hindered some developments from taking place. Some fields such theatre and other arts took long to be established in England as they were seen as a violation of the traditional norms. Education was highly valued, and this led to the rise of noticeable education institutions.
In addition to that, the settlers governed themselves. They had rights to vote the town officials that they wanted and this facilitated democracy across The New England. This gave the rise of a central government with some people in the authority making decisions on behalf of the rest. Another key aspect of culture in the New England was Salem witch trial. Following their religious beliefs that they had, some vices like witchcraft were highly discouraged. This resulted to strict penalties upon anyone who took part in witchcraft. A good number of people were executed after being associated with witchcraft. These included woman of Windsor, Margret Jones, and Mary Johnston among others.
In Virginia, things were slightly different. The cultural traditions observed in Virginia were different from the ones we have observed in The New England. To begin with, majority of the colonists who migrated to Virginia were men. This means that the spirit of community life, family and education was not nurtured. However, this had a positive impact on the way the colonists related with the natives. Since many men could not have remained single, intermarriages developed. The colonists married the natives, and this fostered good relations between the two groups of people. This also led to the emergence of polygamy as those who had left their wives at home could find themselves marrying a second wife. This was evident when Rolfe a tobacco farmer married Pocahontas. The key similarity that existed between Virginia and New England was the system of government. Like the New England, Virginia developed a representative system of government. However, there was no democracy in Virginia as most political powers were in the hands of the rich tobacco farmers.
It is good to note that the similarities that existed in the political aspect facilitated the two regions to become parts of the United States of America. However, these two regions had differences in the attitudes, values and economic ambitions. These were mainly the key issues that led to the outbreak of civil war between them later.
Relationship between Men and Women
Men and women related differently in the two regions. To begin with, New England facilitated good relations between men and women. The main reason behind this is the fact that the colonist had migrated with their families and the spirit of family cohesion was tremendously honored. As stated earlier, men and women were to respect each other and to live in mutual harmony. This enhanced good relations based on respect, love and faithfulness. Men and women collaborated in all that they did as they believed that success could have only been attained through unity.
On the other hand, the relationship between men and women was not a mutual one in Virginia. To begin with, majority of colonists in Virginia were men who were mainly concerned about their economic ambitions. They had no time for women as majority had left their wives at home. For those who married the natives, the relationship had some gaps as these men had a lot of male chauvinism. These two distinct societies create two different scenarios of male- female relationship.
Relationship between the Natives and the Europeans
There were also many differences on how the natives and the Europeans related in both societies. To begin with the relationship between the natives and the Europeans in the New England was good. This was facilitated by the fact that the colonists in England valued the spirit of togetherness, family and community. When they settled in the region, they were able to accommodate the natives as their cultures were mainly based on religion. The fact they expected strict observation of norms and ethical values, this ensured peaceful coexistent between the natives and the Europeans in the New England.
Contrary to what happened in the New England, natives and the Europeans did not relate well. As already stated, colonists moved to Virginia to fulfill their economic ambitions. They were supremely selfish and always thought of how they could exploit he rest for their own material gain. This explains why slavery was common in plantations and their desire to acquire cheap labor made them take part in the triangular trade. It is also noted that the political system consisted of the rich plantation owners who were mainly the Europeans.
There existed noticeable differences between the early colonies in the New England and Virginia. These differences manifested themselves in their interests, values, economic activities and cultural values. The system of government varied in the two regions and the relationship between men and women and also between the natives and the Europeans also varied. These factors gave rise to two distinct regions which later combined to form the United States of America.
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