The Social and Economic Differences of Virginia and Massachusetts
The colonial period was an important time period in our history because it shows the origins of our unique culture. Since each of the colonies were founded for different reasons and had various climates, it had a great impact on the way of life in each of the regions. The colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia are prime examples of this because they were completely different in terms of society and economy. Their contrasting climates and geographical regions forced them to develop in different ways.
The main cause for the differences in their economy is due to the climate and location of each of the colonies. For example, the Virginia colony had good fertile soil and had the perfect weather condition for growing crops, while on the other hand, Massachusetts was a mountainous region that did not have as good of soil. Because of this, Virginia’s economy was based on crops, mainly tobacco, and the Massachusetts colony had to find other ways to use their natural resources to boast their economy. The Massachusetts colony had a lot of forests and trees, so they specialized in shipbuilding. The New England economy also consisted of fishing, and a small amount of crops, but nothing comparable to what Virginia was putting out in tobacco. The economy was clearly more diverse in the Massachusetts colony but there was something the Virginia colony had that Massachusetts did not, and that was land. Because there was an abundant amount of cheap land, it drew more colonists to that region. Another part of their contrasting economy was trade. Virginia was involved in the triangular trade, which traded slaves from Africa with goods from the colonies and England. Massachusetts trade differed from that of the south in two ways, “The lack of staples to exchange for English goods was a relative disadvantage, but the abundance of their own shipping and mercantile enterprise worked in their favor” (Tindall,...
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