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Virginia colony and the Massachusetts Bay colony Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2021

The early 1600s saw many events happen in the history of the United States of America. The Virginia colony and the Massachusetts Bay colony were not left behind either. These events were mostly due to the political, as well as religious turmoil in England. The people of England in their divisions had some groups look for new settlements in the “new world”. This led to the colonization of both Virginia and Massachusetts. The people of the United States of America underwent frustrations in terms of being denied freedom, in relation to religion, poverty and overpopulation (Brinkley, 2007).

The two colonies were similar in some ways. To begin with, both colonies were very much influenced by the Native Americans. As an analogy of this, the settlers from the colonizing side got the knowledge of farming from the natives as they went on with trading. Since they had to interact through trade, there was much interdependence that encouraged coexistence. The coexistence was very much enjoyed, only for discrimination as well as other colonization forms set in that involved pushing the natives from the land they had inherited from their fore-parents, in which they were getting their livelihood. Efforts related to resistance were similarly exerted on both the colonial masters as they struggled over the land as well as the available resources. The colonies entered the area with companies. The Virginia colony was divided into the north and the south. A part of the Plymouth Company and the London Company was allocated to each (McGill, 2005). The companies were given the right to revenue-raising, coin money, and also in law-making, but were preserving much of the power in the king that reigned in England. A charter was issued by James I for the company that was in the name of Massachusetts Bay Company. People benefited from both colonies’ opportunities to get their lives better. This was characteristic of the trading activities as well as the establishment of companies (Sweeney, K. 2008).

Despite these similarities in the colonies, there were some differences in the way they existed and operated. The people involved in the founding of Virginia were undertakers of adventure as well as the work of merchants both of which were to earn them profit from their new land. Massachusetts was discovered or rather founded by the puritans who were attempting to realize for themselves freedom away from the mother church all the way in England. Settlement in New England involved the occupation of the north by the puritans as the south was occupied by the Virginia corporation counterparts. Up to about a half of the Virginia land around the 1660s was in the hands of the wealthy class families. At around the same time stretch, the authority in Massachusetts had constituted a law (policy) regarding distribution that promoted possession of a wide range of belongs. The cultivation of the crops wheat and tobacco in Virginia contributed lump sum in form of profit to that colony while making use of the cheap slave labor on various occasions. Labor was provided by the family’s male people as substance farming was encouraged in Massachusetts (Sweeney, 2008).

Among the greatest differences between the two colonies was their system of government. For the Virginia colony, the burgess house was allowed to make laws as well as to levy taxes. However, the company council back in England or the governor had the freedom to veto whatever they had decided. The all-purpose court took the political authority gradually away from the central leader (governor) to the town’s representatives in Massachusetts Bay’s situation (McGill, 2005).

Both the colonies were established on the same principle of colonial companies, but with different characteristics and traits. The Virginia colony was due to political motivation and wealth amassing, whereas the Massachusetts Bay colony was as a result of religious division and did mostly better the people’s lives rather than making use of slaves for labor (Brinkley, 2007). The effect of the colonization was felt in both colonies. American colonization history is therefore extensive, but useful when trying to elucidate some features about present-day Virginia and Massachusetts.

Reference list

  1. Brinkley, A. (2007). American history: A survey (12th Ed.) Burr Ridge, IL. McGraw-Hill.
  2. McGill, S. A. (2005). Discovering America. Discovering America, 1
  3. Sweeney, K. (2008). Early American religious traditions: Native visions and Christian providence. OAH Magazine of History, 22(1), 8.
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