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Virginia Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony Essay

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Virginia Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony are two of the North American Colonies. These colonies have a lot of similarities especially in their government since they are under the governance of Northern America but differ in their ways of living and social structure. The Massachusetts Bay Colony and Virginia Colony are governed under their constitutions. The legislature under these colonies, called the General Court, consists of a Senate of 40 members and a House of Representatives of 160 for Massachusetts and 100 for Virginia, all elected for two years.

The legislature meets annually. The governor is elected for a four-year term (Brown, 2006). The lieutenant governor, secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer, and receiver general, auditor, and attorney general are also elected to four-year terms. The governor is assisted by an executive council of eight members, elected for two years. The judiciary is headed by the Supreme Judicial Court of seven justices. Other courts include the appeals court, trial court, and minor courts. All judges are appointed by the governor and council and serve until age 70 (Brown, 2006).

In addition, during the next decade of Massachusetts, several small fishing settlements grew up along the Massachusetts coast. Moreover, it is a predominantly a manufacturing area. The most valuable products are machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, instruments, and fabricated metal items. Printing and publishing are also major endeavors. Other economic activities include the processing of foods, the production of beverages, and the making of rubber and plastic goods, paper products, chemicals, clothing, and textiles (Brown, 2006).

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It has the most valuable fisheries and is one of the leading colonies in the nation in the value of its catch. The catch includes flounder, haddock, cod, whiting, Pollack, tuna, herring, scallops, lobsters, and clams. On the other hand, Virginia’s economy is based heavily on government 9federal, state, and local), wholesale, and retail trade, services, and manufacturing. Together, they account for more than 80 percent of all nonagricultural employment. Its manufacturing accounts for about a fifth of the colony’s nonagricultural employment. Chemicals and chemical products are of outstanding importance (Morris, 2001).

Chief among these are synthetic fibers, such as nylon, and polyester. Tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, are also important. Foods, including dairy products and canned and preserved fruits, vegetables, and seafoods, are processed in many localities. Virginia also has a number of textile mills. Moreover, livestock and livestock products, mainly cattle and milk, provide nearly 60 percent of all farm income. Beef and dairy cattle are raised throughout the area, but are most numerous on the northern Piedmont and in the valleys west of the Blue Ridge. The raising of turkeys and broilers is a major activity (Morris, 2001).

In conclusion, Virginia was the site of the first permanent settlement and colony in North America. Virginians were prominent among the nation’s founding fathers and played major roles in the Revolutionary War while Massachusetts was one of the New England states of the United States. These two colonies contributed much of the history of the United States in terms of its state governance and economic contributions to the nation.


1. Brown, R. D. Massachusetts: a Bicentennial History (Norton, 2006). 2. Morris, Shirley. The Pelican Guide to Virginia (Pelican, 2001).

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