The Southern Colonies

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How were the Chesapeake colonies created?

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The Chesapeake colonies (Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) were founded primarily by white, English, male settlers. The first colony of Jamestown (in the Virginia region) was established in 1607 and was the first settlement among all of the 13 colonies. It was sponsored by King James, who granted a charter to the Virginia Company to settle the region (by means of appointing a governor and other officials) and identify raw materials to be sent back to England. Maryland was given to a man named Sir George Calvert by Charles I, who established an enclave for Catholics. The Chesapeake colonies were primarily rural, and the rural classes were primarily wealthy Catholic landowners.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania were founded by Quakers, who were considered to be dissenters by the English Protestants because they believed they could communicate with God directly without the mediation of a preacher. The New Jersey area was ruled by the Dutch before the English took over. William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, sought to establish a refuge for Quakers in the land given to him by Charles II (as repayment for a family debt).

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