New England and the Chesapeake Region Colonies

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Updated: Aug 21, 2023
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The climates in New England were so healthy it helped the Puritan Emigrants thrive. The first generation of colonists lived to an average age of 70. The death rates were low and birth rates high, which made the numbers double about every 27 years. By 1700 the population would be 100,000 in New England and in the Chesapeake (Davidson et al., 2013).

A Comparative Analysis

New Englanders in their early days set up most of their settlement with an eye for stability and order due to them setting up a tight-knit community amongst themselves.

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Each of the New England families received a house along with about 150 acres of land in nearby fields. New England farmers did not import large numbers of servants and slaves or create large plantations (Davidson et al., 2013). New Englanders democratically governed themselves more so than their counterparts in England. The government of each colony, such as the general court of Massachusetts Bay, consisted of a governor, a bicameral legislature, an upper house or council, and a lower house or assembly. During the first decades, disagreements caused founding colonies to break away (Davidson et al., 2013). Thomas Hooker, the minister of Cambridge, Massachusetts, led part of his congregation to Connecticut, where they set up the first English Settlement in 1636. Voting in the colony was limited to church members in the Bay. Most of the New Englanders called themselves Puritans and Congregationalists; they would disagree about what the best teachings of the Bible and John Calvin’s ideas were. Churches were rare in the seventeenth century in Virginia, and the colonial formed the center of community life (Davidson et al., 2013). New England’s ministers did not serve as officers in the civil government, and the congregational churches owned no property. Catholic and Anglican Church officials held temporal power in the European States, and the churches held extensive tracts of land. New England’s strong family institutions contributed to order and stability. The early death of parents regularly splintered Chesapeake families, and two adult generations were often on hand to encourage order within New England households. The husbands and fathers expected the wives to be submissive and strictly obedient to the children (Davidson et al., 2013).


Finally, the town fathers set the meeting’s agenda and offered advice, but the unanimous consent of townsmen decided all decisions. The freeman annually elected all official white adult men entitled to vote in colony elections. Voting qualifications varied, but the number of men enfranchised made up a much broader segment of society than that in seventeenth–century England (Davidson et al., 2013).


  1. Davidson, J. W., Stoff, M. B., & Williams, N. P. (2013). Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic (Vol. 1). Cengage Learning.
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New England and the Chesapeake Region Colonies. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from