Compare and contrast the Northern and Middle colonies around their date of founding.

Essay by davim1991High School, 11th gradeB, September 2008

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The original Northern and Middle colonies had different economic and social systems which evolved within the two; also, they had other characteristics which they shared. Although the colonies of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Bay had contrasting views toward religion and government, they shared the fact that their environment dictated their agriculture and economy; they were founded because of religion, and had similar views toward education.

Massachusetts Bay colony's original purpose and reason for founding was that of religious Puritanism. This is similar to Pennsylvania as it was founded as religious freedom for Quakers and other oppressed religions, which made it so diverse and populated, although William Penn was forced to not give Catholics and Jews the same right to vote by England. Both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania made education important, although Puritans may have placed a higher importance on education. Both of these colonies allowed their people to be involved in government, but just exactly who they allowed set them apart.

Their agricultures and economies were both dictated by environment, as Massachusetts predominantly fished and ship-built, and Pennsylvania was one of the Bread Basket Colonies.

Because Pennsylvania was so religiously tolerant, their people were also completely free to be involved in government. This contrasts with the Massachusetts model of government where only the whites, land owners, and religiously devout had a voice. As these two colonies had very different views toward their people's involvement, they also had very different levels of religious tolerance. Pennsylvania was founded as a safe haven for Quakers, but they also allowed any other religion to seek refuge in their colony. They were completely tolerant because they didn't believe it was anybody's right to tell you what to believe. They were people of fairness and reason as they could see situations from all points of view, which is why they paid the Indians for their land instead of stealing it and creating strife among them. The Puritans, on the other hand, had zero religious tolerance, and persecuted anyone of another faith. They, like many other Christian faiths, used the fear of hell as a way to follow the rules that they created, and breaking these rules would cause you to sin, sending you to hell.

The colonies of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Bay's colonies were both dictated by their environment and had similar views toward education, however, religious tolerance and their different views toward a government model, greatly set them apart.