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Compare the Ways in Which Religion Shaped the Development of Colonial Society in the Chesapeake and New England Areas

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Essay title: Compare the Ways in Which Religion Shaped the Development of Colonial Society in the Chesapeake and New England Areas

Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society in the Chesapeake and New England areas.

Although religion affected the settlement it affected the settlement of the New England and the Chesapeake areas the most. The effects of Religion in these areas were not always the same, not always good, and not always on the same scale.

Religion played the biggest role in New England, and not always for the best. Seeking refuge from British royalty the Puritans set out in large numbers towards America. Unlike the other companies before it the Puritans were not searching for wealth. As a beacon on a hill the Puritans set up their colony as a religious one. Families and their strong work ethic were brought over and functioning societies were set up. As Puritans, they believed that financial success was good in the eyes of god, so they strived to make profitable farms. This often meant befriending Indians. The lack of due loyalty to England caused two things. First was that the settlers could move around, which helped the expansion of the colony’s territory. The second was that the government which they set up allowed for all males to vote. The colonies were also allowed to elect its own minister. These congregational churches often regulated the affairs of the colony. Puritan ministers had complete control over the political leaders because of Puritan piety, leading to the formation of a theocracy. Politicians would frequently require both Puritans and non Puritans to not only attend church but to also support it financially. This strong religious and political hierarchy ensured a measure of social stability. Those who felt oppressed by the Puritan rule, such as Thomas Hooker, often moved away from Massachusetts and started their own settlements. Hooker, while leading the town of Hartford, established a government and adopted one of the first constitutions. This sort of movement was good, not only because it avoided violent rebellions, but because it helped the expansion of the colonies. This region has profited to this day because of the religious work ethic and government that started the colony.

Important still, but in different ways then the New England area, was the Chesapeake region. Much like the Puritans,

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