Political Differences between Chesapeake vs New England Colonies

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

As the American colonies grew, so did the differences between them. One of the most significant divides was political: Chesapeake colonists tended to be more conservative, while those in New England were more liberal. This division played out in many ways, including how each region voted on important issues like independence from Britain.

The Chesapeake and New England colonies were both settled by the English in the early 1600s, but their development and political structure differed greatly. The Chesapeake region was characterized by a strong commitment to individual freedom and limited government involvement, while the New England region had a much more centralized government with far greater regulation of daily life. These differences led to significant tension between the two regions, most notably during the American Revolution.

The political landscape between the Chesapeake and New England colonies was markedly different. The Chesapeake region, settled largely by Anglicans, had a hierarchical society in which lord and tenant owed mutual obligations of service. In contrast, the Puritan New England colonies, which were founded by English Separatists seeking religious freedom, were less hierarchical and emphasized individual liberty and self-reliance. These differences led to different attitudes about taxation and government spending. The Chesapeake colonists tended to regard taxes as a necessary evil for supporting the elite’s lifestyle, while the New Englanders saw taxes as a way to fund public goods that would benefit all members of society. As a result, the New England colonies were far more willing to raise taxes to pay for things like roads and schools.

Comparison between Chesapeake and New England Colonies

Parameters of Comparison  ChesapeakeEngland Colonies
SeasonChesapeake is a southern state with a humid subtropical climateNew England has cold winters and hot summers
CropsThe major crops in Chesapeake are soybeans, wheat, corn, peanuts, cotton, tobaccoMajor crops in New England are apples, cranberries, maple syrup 
Population Densitypopulation density of Chesapeake is 68/sq miit’s only 12/sq mi for New England 
IncomeChesapeake was $43K$28K for New England
StateChesapeake is a land-locked stateew England is an Atlantic coastal region

What is Chesapeake?

Chesapeake is a rural community in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It was first settled by English colonists and has been inhabited since 1670, making it the second oldest town in Maryland. The Chesapeake area now contains more than 8,500 people from all walks of life who have chosen to live here because of its mild climate, diverse natural resources, and a strong sense of community. 

Chesapeake is home to many historic sites as well as modern amenities such as a public library with wireless access and an active farmers’ market that operates year-round on Fridays from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm. In addition to these attractions, residents enjoy easy access to the Delmarva Peninsula’s beaches for fishing or relaxing at one of our beautiful state parks.

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10 Political Differences between Chesapeake and New England Colonies

1. New England colonies were more religiously diverse than Chesapeake colonies.

2. New England colonists had a greater sense of self-determination than Chesapeake colonists.

3. New England colonies had stronger economic ties with the rest of the world than the Chesapeake colonies.

4. The colonial government in new England was less powerful and less intrusive into everyday life than that in the chesapeake colony.

5. There were more slaves in the Chesapeake region, though not all slaves were treated equally; many slave owners believed they should be fed, clothed, and housed as well as their children.

6. Land ownership was much different between the new England and Chesapeake regions – land was considered communal property by most new Englanders whereas it was mostly owned privately by Chesapeake; this created major differences in how people viewed what constituted personal wealth or success.

7) A higher percentage of women migrated to new England from Europe for religious freedom while men predominated among those who settled in the Chesapeake region due to its tobacco trade being so profitable at that time.

8. The Chesapeake colonies were primarily agricultural, while the New England colonies focused on fishing and trade.

9. Chesapeake colonists tended to be more ethnically diverse than their New England counterparts.

10. The Chesapeake colony was founded by a joint-stock company of London merchants, while the New England colony was founded by Puritans seeking religious freedom. 

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Chesapeake

1. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States.

2. There are over 3,200 miles of shoreline on the bay.

3. Maryland has 1,110 miles of shoreline and Virginia has 830 miles.

4. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel connects Norfolk to Cape Charles, VA.

5. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once an industrial center for coal and steel production.

6. Today it is a tourist attraction with shops and restaurants lining its waterfront.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of England Colonies

1. The first English settlement in America was the Jamestown colony.

2. England colonized to expand its trade and commercial opportunities.

3. The colonies were governed by a governor, who acted as an agent of the Crown.

4. In 1638, King Charles I granted Connecticut a charter creating it as a self-governing colony with no royal government present.

5. After the Revolutionary War, there were 13 states in America.

6. Benjamin Franklin served as postmaster general for many years before he became president of Pennsylvania.


The Chesapeake and the New England colonies had different climates, economic systems, politics, religions, and social groups. They were very different in many ways that led to conflict between the two regions. Although there was some trade between them, it never reached levels comparable with what existed before 1688 when New York became part of British America. -The main difference is probably religion because both areas are Protestant but they differ on how much power should be given to religious leaders or whether certain religious practices need to be followed. The same can also be said about their attitudes towards slavery which was a major issue at the time–many colonists thought this practice went against Christianity’s teachings while others didn’t care as long as they saw an advantage for themselves by keeping slaves.

The Chesapeake and New England colonies differed in many ways, including their demographics. While the majority of colonists who settled in New England were English Puritans or Anglicans, more than half of the settlers to Virginia came from Ireland. This changed over time as immigrants arrived with different religious backgrounds that blended into a society where most people belonged to multiple faiths at once. It is also noted that there was a less ethnic division among the group of people living in one part of America vs another, which contributed to class differences being less pronounced. All these factors led to an entirely new culture for each region – what we now know as American Culture.


Resource 01: https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/
Resource 02: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Colonies

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