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Compare And Contrast Jamestown And New England Colonies

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Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the monarchy began to expand their power and influence, eventually becoming absolute rulers. Having support from the merchant class, the monarchy attempted to unify and stabilize the nation states. In the late seventeenth, early eighteenth centuries, with hopes of expanding English trade and acquiring a broader market for English manufactured goods, the nation states were wealthy enough to fund voyages of discovery and exploration. Over time, ten colonies were established along the Atlantic coast of North America. The first permanent English settlement was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and in 1620 a ship landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, marking it as the second permanent English settlement.…show more content…
Located along the broad, coastal plain of the Atlantic, it offered port along the shore and made for a good defensive location. Since the southern colonies were the warmest of the three regions, the colonists did not have to worry about surviving harsh winters like the northern regions would have to. Unfortunately, the warm climate carried diseases that killed many colonists and reduced the life expectancy to about 40 years old. The group of men who had left England went to the New World hoping to expand their market for manufactured goods. But the majority of the young white males who came to Jamestown were poor, uneducated, and unskilled. They had no families and no means of supporting themselves, which meant that they caused a potential problem to the political and economic challenge for stability. Since these men had no skills, they would become indentured servants, trading their labor for free passage to the colonies. Elite landowners used this unfree labor to their advantage by growing cash crops like tobacco and exporting their agricultural products, eventuating establishing Jamestown as a boomtown. Once the colony had become stabilized, the first representative legislature general assembly met in the Jamestown church in 1619. It was here that representative government was formed. The House of Burgesses was formed,…show more content…
Like Jamestown, Plymouth provided a good port and an excellent harbor but was very cold compared to the southern colonies. The cold weather prevented the spread of life threatening diseases, but it unfortunately still killed many people. The hilly, rocky soil limited the amount of farming that the New England colonists could do. With such short growing seasons, the northerners weren’t able to export agricultural products like the southern colonies were able to do. They instead imported their agricultural products and focused their skills on lumbering, shipbuilding, fishing, and trade. Demographically, English settlements were more family oriented than that of the southern colonies. The majority of settlers consisted of families of six children per household and overall the amount of men and women equaled each other as well as the amount of adults to children. The settlers that lived in the New England colonies were dissenters from the Church of England. Predominantly consisting of Puritans, religious freedoms did not exist throughout the northern colonies. They established a congregational church, which is where meetings regarding government policies would take place. Since the New England colonies were outside of Virginia’s jurisdiction, the northerners established a self-governing agreement called the Mayflower Compact. Some indentured servants inside of the
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