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Unit 1, Period 2: Three Worlds Meet

Sample Essay

Directions: Use the LEQ rubric to score the sample essay. Be able to justify what points you think the essay earns and indicate where in the essay the essay earns these points. To do this use different colors to indicate the following: 1) thesis, 2) specific evidence, 3) use/analysis of HTS, 4) synthesis.

During the Elizabethan Era, the Book of Common Prayer was established. This appointed Protestantism as the only religion for the people of England. During this same period covering the 16th and 17th centuries, exploration was at its peak. This promoted economic motives for colonizing. Although two groups of Englanders settled in the Americas, their societies were different because of settlement motives, the government structures were separated by the ideas of theocracy versus authority, and the economies were divided by different sources; these differences ultimately sent the two societies on different paths.

The New Englanders had a close-knit church society while the colonists in the Chesapeake region had a hierarchal society. The Church brought everyone in the town to one place. The church also served as the educational hub of the New England society. This would be expected because the settlers of the region left England to escape religious persecution, and they were predominately Puritans or Separatists. The Chesapeake region was settled by people of different motives. The London Company found the area in a chartered expedition. Thus the motives of settling the land became distinctly economic. The economic mindset led to large plantations being formed and a large slave population. The Chesapeake region did have religious tolerance as seen in the Maryland Toleration Acts while the religious New England society was limited to the Puritan faith. The motives of colonial settlement created the bases for which each society would thrive.

The nature of the New England colonies led to a theocratic institution in which the Church and state were together while the slave populated Chesapeake region led to an authoritative government. Local church leaders led the New England government. The general courts in the North demonstrate this. Laws were instituted primarily for the Church. The witch hunts show how religious problems were brought to prosecution by the “state.” The Salem witch trials best portray the witch hunts. The Chesapeake region was different because of the large plantations. Most wealthy plantation owners led to the government, as seen in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Also, the dictator like features of the government can be illustrated in Bacon’s Rebellion. The suppression of the lower class by the government led to widespread disapproval of the institution. The governments of New England and the Chesapeake region would thus lead to the distinct path each society would take.



The source of economy in the North was primarily shipbuilding and fishing while the Chesapeake colony revolved around the agriculture industry. The geography of New England provided excellent ports for these industries to thrive. In the Chesapeake region, the rich soil provided proper conditions for cash crops to be planted. This can be seen in the success of tobacco in the region started by the Virginia Company. The economies of the North and South had distinct differences.

The motives of settlement between the New England and the Chesapeake colonists led to different social, political, and economic traits of the regions. The society of the North was closely knit and revolved around the church, while the southern society had a male dominated, plantation centered society. The government of New England was theocratic while the government of the south was predominately authoritative. The economies of New England thrived on the fishing and shipbuilding industries while the Chesapeake region thrived on the agriculture industry. The distinct differences would eventually lead to a divided nation during the American Civil War.


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