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I think geography played an important role in the two distinct societies that developed in New England and in the Chesapeake region. The Chesapeake region had the geographic characteristics that include rich soil, mild winters, a long growing season, and abundant rainfall. This led the Chesapeake region to become primarily agricultural, growing the most crops and the greatest variety of crops. This in turned led to the creation of large plantations and the reliance on slave labor, which defined southern society. The New England colonies had thin rocky soil, harsh winters, a short growing season, cold coastal waters, and good harbors. This led New England to rely more on manufacturing and commerce as compared to the Chesapeake area, including shipbuilding, ironworks, lumbering and fishing. Slavery became less important in that area. This in turned led to a different type of society than the Chesapeake area.
This is because of the type of people who came (it's not as if all English were exactly alike) and why they came.
The Chesapeake area was settled simply in order to make money. People who came there were much more likely to be poorer people who came over to work for rich landowners. This led to the development of a plantation economy in which there were a few rich elites and a lot of poorer people.
The New England area was settled by families and groups of families who wanted a better life. Of course that does include money, but they were also looking for a place where their religion could be the official religion. This meant that you had a much different society -- people who were all much more nearly equal to one another and who felt connected to one another.
The chesapeake colonies located on a coastal plain, with feritle ground, large slow flowing rivers, and a money motivated populace was focused more on farming, as such the social hierarchy was developed in way that had plantation owners at the top.
New England founded by those wishing to escape religious persecution, wasn't meant for farming, this caused the growth of many more small towns and cities, along with the growth of the industries of ship building, fishing, and merchant fleets.
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