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Old 04-29-2015, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by LINative View Post
Virginia was the first English colony in the South and Massachusetts Bay/Plymouth Colony was the first English colony in the North. I am talking way back in the early 1600s. So they probably had a lot of influence on the way the South and North are today. I think this is especially true of Virginia.
Yes, but the settlers were from different parts of England, along with different social classes.

The Puritans came from all over England, but mostly from East Anglia. They were from the middle classes, and basically universally literate. This is in part why they were able to govern themselves via Town Meeting - there was a belief that each man could represent himself politically within the community because in a certain sense they were all equals. It is no coincidence that almost all of the Ivy League schools were founded in New England, because the belief in the value of education came from the early experience of many of the Puritan leaders (who went to Oxford or Cambridge, and thus sought an American analogue.

In contrast, Virginia's settlers were around 1/4th "distressed nobility" from the South of England, with the remainder indentured servants - poor illiterate peasants. To this African indentured servants (and soon slaves) were added, which set the foundations for the South's much more class stratified society, along with the much closer association of freedom with property rights.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yes, but the settlers were from different parts of England, along with different social classes.

The Puritans came from all over England, but mostly from East Anglia. They were from the middle classes, and basically universally literate. This is in part why they were able to govern themselves via Town Meeting - there was a belief that each man could represent himself politically within the community because in a certain sense they were all equals.

In contrast, Virginia's settlers were around 1/4th "distressed nobility" from the South of England, with the remainder indentured servants - poor illiterate peasants. To this African indentured servants (and soon slaves) were added, which set the foundations for the South's much more class stratified society.
Despite the general individual differences in the settlers (and they are very general) the fact remains that they were both British settlements. MA had plenty of indentured servants and even slaves in the beginning...not nearly as many as in VA (300,000 in the mid 18th century) , but they still existed. MA was the first slave holding colony in New England with Boston as the center of the trade that often sold slaves to VA.

A 1754 census listed 4,500 slaves in MA. http://books.google.com/books?id=LC5...tts%22&f=false

Last edited by JoeTarheel; 04-29-2015 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:00 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
Despite the general individual differences in the settlers (and they are very general) the fact remains that they were both British settlements. MA had plenty of indentured servants and even slaves in the beginning...not as many as in VA, but they still existed. MA was the first slave holding colony in New England. A 1754 census listed 4,500 slaves in MA. Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts - George Henry Moore - Google Books
But you could say that all of the 13 colonies. New York was Dutch, but by the early 1700s culturally it was English. Almost all the northern colonies had some slaves; but they were far fewer in numbers and had less economic impact.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
But you could say that all of the 13 colonies. New York was Dutch, but by the early 1700s culturally it was English. Almost all the northern colonies had some slaves; but they were far fewer in numbers and had less economic impact.
Virginia was the first English colony in the South and Massachusetts Bay/Plymouth Colony was the first English colony in the North.

There were definitely less slaves in New England, but they weren't nonexistent. They were like 2-3% of the population.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:34 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
Virginia was the first English colony in the South and Massachusetts Bay/Plymouth Colony was the first English colony in the North.
That is it in a nutshell. But the question is why if they both settled by the English did both grow so differently?

I think we hit on some of the answers in the last few posts. One reason is that Massachusetts was settled by a religious minority, the Puritans. The other is that Virginia is much better for agriculture and thus became more and more dependent on slavery.

One minor difference is the older county names in the two states. Virginia has counties named after British royalty like King William County, King George County and Prince William County. To my knowledge, Massachusetts does not have any like that - perhaps because of the Puritans?
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