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Early America

Essay by   •  August 8, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,036 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,328 Views

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From their arrival to America in 1600's, the colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia endured numerous challenges. The colonists came to America for a chance of change and a better life." Both colonies were a result of the English quest for better lives and greener pastures away from a country that was starting to become unbearable for them." (Serrano) Those who settled in Virginia wanted to find better land, goods, and wealth such as gold and tobacco. Unfortunately, for them, the amount of gold they were expecting was not found. The colonists who settled in Massachusetts came in search of bettering their lives and separating themselves from the Church of England for spiritual freedom. "The settlement to New England offered an opportunity for a dissident minority within the established Church of England to create an alternative society and church order to the colonies." (Nash)

Those in Virginia experienced a strange and bitter relationship between themselves and the Powhatan Indians. "The first winter tested the strongest souls. More than 200 of the first 700 settlers perished, and 100 others, disillusioned and sickened by the forbidding climate, soon returned to Englands." (Nash) The colonists were not very prepared for the weather they were experiencing through the changing seasons so the Powhatans were very generous in sharing their goods with the sick. The Indians were later raided, thus withdrawing any form of hospitality and in return, a violent outcome resulted. Unfortunately for them, the harsh environment, starvation, and disease took a major toll and decreased their population. Many women died during child-birth because of mal-nutrition and the poor conditions. Children and infants also suffered from these same issues. Contrary to Virginia, the environment in Massachusetts was civil and healthier. Because the Puritans were very spiritual and religious, they felt the need to spread love and tranquility. They worked together as a community and made it a point to live in peace with the Indians as well. They became more of a tight-knit community. Small villages were created consisting of family households "to help family life flourish". They by far had a healthier environment than those in Virginia. Disease steered away from the community of the Puritans. Not only physically was this colony healthy but socially as well. Massachusetts' colonists dealt with disagreement in a respectable manner that never involved violence or arguments. Their relationship with God and religious community brought them together as a whole.

Settlers in Virginia used to their advantage the tobacco surrounding them. They made their money by counting on it as a cash crop through trade. Society was a bit more difficult for the colonists. They were not well prepared for the harsh winters they endured, making it more difficult for them. In addition to that, the soil was not "crop friendly". It was rocky and dry making it quite difficult for them to farm. Not only was it a challenge to plant crops with the soil, planting seasons were shorter giving them a shortage on both food and goods to trade. Instead, they made their money through timbering, agriculture, fishing, and trading

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