What are the differences between the New England and Jamestown colonies? What were their reasons for coming to the New World, agriculture, climate, and relationship with the natives?

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wmche001 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Reasons for settling:

New England: Although throughout the New England colony there would be several different religions which were worshiped, the main motivation for settling in the New World was religious freedom.

Virginia/Jamestown: As the article cited below states, "The investors had one goal in mind: gold."  The settlers of Jamestown were not as lucky as the Spanish when they settled in South America; they would need crops to make their money.


New England: With its rocky climate and short growing season, New England was primarily focused on subsistence agriculture.

Virginia/Jamestown: Eventually, Jamestown realized that the soil they had settled on was suitable for growing subsistence crops and cash crops.  The crop that made Virginia successful and eventually very wealthy was tobacco.

Relationship with Native Americans:

New England: Initially, in the Plymouth colony specifically, relations with the natives were cooperative and peaceful.  The only reason why these settlers survived was due to the help from natives.  Their cooperation culminated in what we now know as Thanksgiving.

Virginia/Jamestown: Essentially, relations with the natives were always tense in Jamestown.  The main reason for this was a difference in ideas about the ownership of property, which led to conflict.