Although they were settled mostly by people of English origin, the New England and Chesapeake regions developed very differently due to social, economic and political factors. New England developed into religious based communities that relied economically on trading and a merchant class. The colonies in the Chesapeake region developed into societies that lacked communal values and consisted of scattered plantations owned by individuals interested in their own success. The large differences between these regions would become a problem later in American history, when the different parts of developing America would face each other in the Civil War.
The kind of people that settled in each region effected the New England and Chesapeake colonies social development because it provided a basis of the values each region would possess. John Winthrop explained to incoming settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony that they would be a model of future settlements and must act as a "city upon a hill" and "work as one man" as God would want them to. This meant the colony would be based on unity between the settlers who understood that the needs of the community were more important than the needs of the individual. John Winthrop knew that the settlers would agree, because if they did not cooperate, it would be disobeying what God wanted for the colony. Also, according to the list of emigrants traveling to New England, the settlers were a diverse group in terms of their gender and whether or not they were part of a family. The fact that there were families traveling together meant that the society in New England colonies would possess family values and a unity that societies without families could never have. However, the list of emigrants traveling to Virginia, shows that the majority of settlers in the Chesapeake region were men who traveling alone. While there were women, there were no families.