Colonial history of the United States - Wikipedia
The Puritans and the Founding of the New England …
New England's commercial success, its growing inability to resolve some of its own intercolonial boundary claims, and England's rising imperial interest in the region during the final decades of the century all began to lead these colonies into another direction and another world than that with which most seventeenth- century New Englanders had become familiar. Internally, too, change was taking place or was about to. Agricultural export was slackening, non-agricultural by-employment was rising, distinctions between the customs of towns were declining, economic growth was stagnating, and population pressures were beginning to push men onto new land, often less productive than the original grants. Slowly even settlement patterns and land granting practices were beginning to change.
The New England colonies - Encyclopedia Britannica
In another area of England, East Anglia, from which a sizable number of New England settlers originated, a different type of landscape was evident in the seventeenth century. A typical pattern of landholdings in this region is shown in the copyhold maps of Rivers Hall manor in Boxted, Essex (see no. 6), which were made by an important local surveyor, John Walker. Walker's maps show an entirely different pattern of settlement and land use. The practice here was to bring together many small parcels of land and to create consolidated farmsteads. Away from a life in a nucleated village center and in a region where the regulatory eye of a strong manor was not as evident, the East Anglian farmer could control the use of his land as economic conditions warranted, converting his small closes of land from pastureland to arable-or back again-as the market for various agricultural products changed.