Comparing Massachusetts bay and Virginia colonies

Essay by alisavizcUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 2014

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At the start of the 17th century King James 1 became king and he began to look toward the new world as a place were England could make a profitable settlement , as New Spain was for the Spaniards. This was the start of colonization in the new world for England. Following this, many colonies began to develop, and of these colonies, Massachusetts and Virginia were the most well-known. The early settlements of the Massachusetts and Virginia were both established by similar groups of people at the same time; however, their contrasting beginnings as a colony, views on religion, and means of economic stability created two different politics and economic systems.

The settlements of Virginia and Massachusetts were colonies established fairly close together, but the paths taken by the two leading up to their independence greatly differed. In the beginning Virginia had difficulty establishing a strong and permanent settlement; this lasted for nearly two decades.

Massachusetts, in comparison, was extremely successful because of their lack of certain obstacles and their religious motivation. Freedom from religious persecution motivated the Pilgrims to leave England; Puritan merchants obtained a charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company. In addition a unique provision allowed for the company to be located outside of England. This gave puritans the opportunity to leave a status of a harassed minority and create their own self government in Massachusetts. In addition, the settlers made better decisions as a whole and in representation of their beliefs that shaped the development of their new settlement. Whereas Virginia was initially established to compete with Spain's settlement of New Spain. The London investors of the Virginia wanted to expand English trade and obtain a wider market for English manufactured goods. They naturally hoped for financial profit from their investment in shares of company stock.