Pro Chesapeake Settlement

Why Wealthy Englishmen Should Settle in the Chesapeake

Ms. Hibberd

Geographic/ Environmental/ Climate Considerations

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1) The temperate climate of the Chesapeake region means that there are relatively mild winters when compared with areas further to the North, long growing seasons to support agricultural activities, and more temperate summers when compared to areas further to the South.


2) Fertile soil supports large scale agricultural activities. John Rolfe, an early Jamestown colonist, found that tobacco grows particularly well in the Chesapeake and it is a valuable crop that produces many financial benefits for wealthy landowners.


3) The position of Virginia and Maryland on the coast makes it easy to trade with England. Also the James River and other deep rivers allow ocean going ships to travel inland.

Government and Political Considerations

Self-Government in Virginia!

In 1619 the House of Burgesses ,the first democratic assembly in England's North American colonies, was formed. The House of Burgesses helped set policies for the colony and established a tradition of participatory democracy in Virginia and the English colonies. Men of property were eligible to elect representatives to the House of Burgesses or to be elected to office.

Economic Considerations

Claim land with the Headright System!

The headright system rewards individuals who bring indentured servants and other settlers to the Chesapeake with an award of 50-100 acres of land for every person they bring over. Wealthy individuals who can pay for the passage of others are able to build up large land holdings that they can devote to tobacco cultivation or other profitable economic activities.

Tobacco Profits!

The temperate climate, fertile soil, and strain of tobacco introduced by John Rolfe all produce lots of wealth for Chesapeake farmers. Further wealthy individuals are often able to take advantage of the labor of indentured servants or enslaved Africans. The wealthy enjoy lives of leisure while others do the hard work.

Society and Lifestyle Considerations

The New Aristocracy!

The gentry in the Chesapeake are at the top of a new social class structure. Enjoy a life of leisure in the manor of aristocrats and nobles of days of old.

Religious Considerations

Religious Tolerance in Maryland!

Catholic Colonists can settle in Maryland and safely practice their faith thanks to the 1649 Act of Toleration. Catholicism is banned in many other parts of the colonies.