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History, Growth of the English Colonies

national America, Permanent English settlement, Puritans, Chesapeake Bay area, white families

Permanent English settlement began in the Chesapeake Bay area in 1607 and in Massachusetts in 1620. The histories of the two regions during their first century and a half are almost opposite. Virginia began as a misguided business venture and as a disorderly society of young men. Massachusetts settlers were Puritans. They arrived as whole families and sometimes as whole congregations, and they lived by laws derived from the Old Testament. Over time, however, Virginia was transformed into a slave-based tobacco colony where slaves were carefully disciplined, where most white families owned land, and where a wealthy and stable planter-slaveholder class provided much of the leadership of revolutionary and early national America. New England, on the other hand, evolved into a more secularized and increasingly overpopulated society based on family farms and inherited landóland that was becoming scarce to the point that increasing numbers of whites were slipping into poverty.

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national America, Permanent English settlement, Puritans, Chesapeake Bay area, white families, family farms, Old Testament, slaves, poverty, histories, congregations, New England, Virginia, regions, century, laws, half, point, hand, time

 
 

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