Explain why there were no major witchcraft scares in the Chesapeake colonies and no uprising like Bacon's Rebellion in New England. Consider the possible social, economic, and religious causes of both phenomena.

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There were notable differences between New England colonies and Chesapeake. New England was characterized by Puritan colonists who valued religious autonomy. Religion was important in many family setups. Since most of the colonists were religious, they considered themselves more spiritually upright than other colonies. Therefore, witchcraft scares were common because...

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There were notable differences between New England colonies and Chesapeake. New England was characterized by Puritan colonists who valued religious autonomy. Religion was important in many family setups. Since most of the colonists were religious, they considered themselves more spiritually upright than other colonies. Therefore, witchcraft scares were common because of their beliefs. Furthermore, they did not have any uprisings such as the Bacon Rebellion due to their beliefs.

Conversely, Chesapeake colonists primarily went to America for trade and business. They focused on exporting their crops, which were planted and harvested by black slaves. Religion was not as important in Chesapeake when compared to New England. Due to the minimal participation in religious activities, Chesapeake colonists did not believe in supernatural powers and, therefore, did not have witchcraft scares.

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When we attempt to answer questions like this, we are forced to speculate.  We cannot know for certain why these things happened in some places and not in others.  We can only make educated guesses.  We can speculate that witchcraft scares did not happen in the Chesapeake because there was less emphasis on religion there.  We can speculate that rebellions like Bacon’s Rebellion did not happen in New England because that region was more egalitarian.

We can say that witchcraft scares happened in New England because it was a tight-knit community dominated by the Puritans.  Because religion mattered so much, people suspected that people who were different in some way must be evil.  Therefore, they accused them of being witches.  In the Chesapeake, religion was much weaker and the communities were not as tightly knit.  Therefore, they would not have cared as much if people were different and might not have thought people who were different were in some way evil.

We can say that Bacon’s Rebellion happened because of class differences.  We can say that it was a rebellion of the poorer, backwoods people against the richer people living on the coast.  These class differences did not exist as much in New England.  New Englanders were much more similar to one another than those in the Chesapeake.  Therefore, there would not have been class resentments in New England to nearly the same degree as in the Chesapeake.

Thus, we can speculate that these different events happened in different regions because of the regions’ different religious and social makeups.

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