The Five Southern Colonies Include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
South Carolina, part of the original Province of Carolina, was founded in 1663 when King Charles II gave the land to eight noble men known as The Lords Proprietors. At the time, the province included both North Carolina and South Carolina. North and South Carolina became separate royal colonies in 1729. The Spanish and French vied over the rights to the coast of South Carolina in the 1500’s. In 1562, French soldiers unsuccessfully attempted to start a settlement on Paris Island off the coast of present-day South Carolina. In 1566, The Spanish built the colony of Santa Elena near the site of the original French settlement. Santa Elena was abandoned in 1576 after being attacked by Indians. Although the settlement was rebuilt, the Spanish concentrated their forces in Florida after British pirate Sir Francis Drake destroyed St. Augustine. The British would be the next to colonize the area. In 1670, the first permanent English settlement in South Carolina was established at Albemarle Point. Many of the original settlers came from the Caribbean island of Barbados, including the new governor, William Sayle. A year before, in 1669, prospective Carolina settlers including John Locke wrote the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, which served as an early form of government for the Carolina colony. In 1680, the colony moved to Charles Town (later Charleston). Charles Town would quickly become the cultural and economic center of the southern colonies. Because of the influence of the Caribbean settlers, the colony’s original economy resembled the plantation colonies of the West Indies. It would become a major center for rice, tobacco and indigo production, and the colony’s plantation owners were among the wealthiest people in all the colonies. By the late 1700’s, African-American slaves represented the majority of the population in South Carolina, as the number of cotton plantations increased. This colony had an estimated population of 249,073 people. 107,094 were slaves.
Cecil Calvert, second Lord of Baltimore, founded Maryland in 1632. Cecil’s father, George Calvert had received a royal charter for the land from King Charles I. The new colony was named after Henrietta Maria, the wife the king. In November of 1633, about 200 Catholic settlers led by Cecil’s younger brother boarded the ships ARK and DOVE, and set sail for Marie’s Land (later Maryland). By 1634, Maryland became one of the few territories of England to be predominately Catholic. Their settlement became known as St. Mary’s and is currently the fourth oldest permanent British settlement in America. In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act was passed which guaranteed religious tolerance to settlers, as long as the religion was a sect of Christianity. After England’s “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, which established the Protestant faith in England, Catholicism was outlawed in Maryland until after the Revolutionary War. The Puritan government of Maryland at the time burned down all of southern Maryland’s original Catholic churches. By the 1700’s, Maryland and Virginia became plantation economies, and grew tobacco as the cash crop. Up to 40 percent of Maryland’s population was slaves or convicts who worked in the tobacco fields. Soon, Baltimore, a large port on the Chesapeake Bay, became an important center for tobacco export. By 1775, Maryland was governed as a Proprietary Colony. The population was around 319,728 people. Of those people, 103,036 were slaves.
The colony of Georgia, located directly in between the English colony of South Carolina, and the Spanish colony of Florida, was the subject of frequent military invasions by both sides until the Yamassee War (1715-1716) left the area devoid of people. In 1732, James Oglethorpe received a royal charter for the Province of Georgia. It was named after King George II. Oglethorpe imagined the area as a refuge for England’s poor people, who were crowded together in debtor’s prisons. In 1733, 116 settlers arrived in modern-day Savannah aboard the HMS ANNE. Georgia would become the last of the English colonies in the New World. Soon, immigrants throughout the world came to Georgia in the hopes of being awarded generous land grants and Georgia quickly become a major center for the export of rice, indigo, beef and pork. In 1742, British forces under James Oglethorpe attacked a garrison of Spanish soldiers near present-day St. Simon’s island in what came be known as the Battle of Bloody Run. After about hour, the Spanish were defeated and permanently abandoned their attempts to invade Georgia. The population of Georgia in the 1770s was around 23,400 people.