Compare and contrast the English colonies in the Chesapeake and New England. In what ways were they different and in what ways were they alike?

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Historians generally discuss the ways in which the Chesapeake colonies and the New England colonies were different.  These differences are said to have created completely different societies whose differences even helped to bring about the Civil War. 

While these two regions were very different, they did have similarities.  For one, these areas were largely colonized by English people.  This was in contrast to places like Pennsylvania, which had more people from other European countries.  As another similarity, both of these areas had some amount of democratic rule.  They had elected assemblies that provided a voice for their people in government.  Finally, both of these regions had established churches and tax money went to support those churches.

However, there were many important differences as well.  The most important of these is that the Chesapeake colonies’ economy was generally dominated by large plantation owners.  Most of the labor for these plantations was provided by unfree workers.  By contrast, New England’s economy was dominated by small farmers and by merchants and artisans in cities.  This made for a much more egalitarian society.  As another difference, the New England colonies were settled by families and became very family-oriented.  By contrast, the Chesapeake colonies were often settled by single people and thus had less social cohesion.

These are some of the most important similarities and contrasts between the two.

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