The North and the South essay

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The Virginia Colony can be said to have developed from Jamestown settlement. Jamestown was set up in 1607, and later, Virginia together with Jamestown became a royal colony. It was founded by the London Company during the ruling of King James the First (1566-1625) on account of the revoking the bankrupt Virginia Company charter. He considered the representative assembly, the House of Burgesses, to be a threat and passed on before its disbandment. Virginia, therefore, came up from Jamestown.

In the development of Virginia Colony, the colonists had an objective motive of taking their religion there. Nevertheless, the economic motives are not ruled out. With regards to Massachusetts Colony, the motive was to seek refuge there.

Massachusetts was founded under Puritan values. This is the need and responsibility to purify the church and society at large. As a result, it was difficult to distinguish Puritans from government. Virginia was founded on religious values too, and similar to Massachusetts constitutional value. The two also borrowed a lot from English values.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1620 by the owners of Massachusetts Bay Company in consequence of the fleeing of the English separatists to the Netherlands in 1608 who later decided to find a refuge in America and created a settlement in the Massachusetts Colony.

The Massachusetts economy was mostly built on the relations with Indians. A treaty with pilgrims was signed by Wampanoag chief Massasoit. However, this relationship met confrontations as more English settlers had arrived. The Pequot War in 1937 followed these confrontations. Then, King Phillip’s War started in 1975 and ended in 1976 after assault of Puritan towns. This war saw the lasting defeat of New England Indians. The economy involved lumbering, making of ships and trade among many. On the other hand, the economy of Virginia was founded on tobacco cultivation under guidance of the colonist John Rolfe. The lands were worked on by slaves, and eventually, the colony entered into slave trade with the Dutch.

The colonizers of Virginia had no primary objective to make it one worship colony or society whose church life was managed by one religious organization. From 1607 until the American Revolution, the worship in Virginia was mainly Anglican. King James, being the King of England and the head of the Anglican Church, imposed a new translation of the Bible (King James Version). Virginia was hostile to the Catholics, and only one catholic was elected to the House of Burgesses. Virginia, however, had to show flexibility in order to attract settlers, and this caused the coming of the Presbyterians and other Protestants. Freedom of religion was not the rule of law in Massachusetts. Unlike the Virginia Colony, Massachusetts was dominated by Puritans who wanted to make the Church of England more pure. The Puritans were allowed to make their own laws.

By the 1660s, wealthy families owned about fifty percent of the land in Virginia. Land was plentiful but with scarce labor: the landowners had tracts of lands but they had no workers. Compared to Virginia, the land in Massachusetts was less fertile. Thus, its inhabitants had to rely on other means of trade but not on crop farming. Harsh climate and not long growing season contributed to the infertility. The climate of Massachusetts was humid continental with warm summers and cold snowy winters. It was raining during the year. Virginia’s climate was warm, and that made it possible to grow crops throughout the year. It was ideal for plantation farming.

In politics, Massachusetts was the home for the Kennedy political dynasty. The colonial government evolved around the lifetime of the colonial charter which was designed for the management of corporation. The needs of the government, however, did not fit into the charter system and it had to develop. On the other hand, Virginia was the home for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson among many. The governor was appointed by the king and the colony was allowed to rule itself within the English law.

Colonial Virginia provided the foundation of institutions which formed an integral part of the United States. It was a front runner during the colonial period. It had the Syms School, the first free school in America, the East India School, and the college of William and Mary established in 1693. Samuel Slater established a textile mill at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1973. In 1647, Massachusetts mandated an elementary school to be supported by each town of at least fifty families. Grammar schools were supported by each town of at least a hundred of families for purposes of teaching Latin to boys in preparation for college.

Taking a look at the Virginia colonial society, it should be mentioned that the women played important but different roles in all aspects of the civilization. For instance, the Indians of Tsenacomoco had the power inherited through the female line, this lead to the women such as Cockacoeske becoming chiefs. However, women-servants and slaves were exposed to sexual abuse and accusations of witchcraft. Virginia Indians were short of freedom alongside women and Africans. Virginia also engaged in slavery. The ratio of white servants to enslaved Africans was four to one in the 1960s, but it changed to one to four by the nineties. These slaves lived in both urban and rural areas. Women in colonial Massachusetts were not different from those in Virginia. Although it is believed that there were no slaves in Massachusetts, the fact is clear that people were held in servitude.

The natives of America in both Virginia and Massachusetts found it easy to coexist with the colonialists until the last ones grew in power and dislodged them out of their land in which they had dwelled upon for years. This contributed to the American Revolution.

The colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia have a lot of similarities in their development. However, not much similarity exists in their today life. The two colonies have taken different diverging routes from their once common path as they developed.

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