Theme: In the Chesapeake
region, seventeenth-century colonial society was characterized by disease-shortened
lives, weak family life, and a social hierarchy that included hardworking
planters at the top and restless poor whites and black slaves at the bottom.
Despite the substantial disruption of their traditional culture and the mingling
of African peoples, slaves in the Chesapeake developed a culture that mixed
African and new-world elements, and developed one of the few slave societies
that grew through natural reproduction.
Theme: By contrast,
early New England life was characterized by healthy, extended life spans,
strong family life, closely knit towns and churches, and a demanding economic
and moral environment.