The New England Colonies

Founders of the New England Colonies

1. Rhode Island- Founded by Roger Williams in 1636.

2. Connecticut- Founded by Thomas Hooker in 1636.

3. New Hampshire- Founded by John Mason in 1630.

4. Massachusetts- Founded by John Winthrop in 1630.

Why Were the New England Colonies Founded?

Rhode Island- This colony was founded in order to gain religious freedom and separation of church and state after there was a disagreement about this with Massachusetts.

New Hampshire- This colony was founded for the cause of farming.

Massachusetts- This colony was founded for religious freedom that was sought by Puritans.

Connecticut- This colony was founded for religious freedom, as well as political freedom, after a disagreement with Massachusetts.

Geographical Characteristics

The overall geography of the New England colonies is made up of mountains. There are many rivers (which could be used for fishing) and thick forests of trees (which could be used for lumber) that are found within these colonies. The soil is very rocky which made it hard to farm since it was unsuitable for crops. However, there are small defining characteristics of each individual colony:

1. Rhode Island- Flat, rolling hills and lowlands.

2. Massachusetts- A jagged coast and hills.

3. New Hampshire- A low coast, hills, and plateaus.

4. Connecticut- A hilly eastern upland and narrow lowlands.

Religious Development

The New England colonists were largely Puritans, who led very strict lives. English government reforms increased the power of non-Puritans in the area, especially large landowners and merchants.

A Timeline of the Regions

  • 1602: Captain Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first Englishman to land on the New England Coast.
  • 1607: The colony of Jamestown is found under the patent of the London Company and Captain John Smith meets Pocahontas for the first time.
  • 1610: Thomas West becomes the Governor of Virginia.
  • 1612: The English colonists in Virginia plant tobacco for the first time.
  • 1614: Pocahontas marries John Rolfe.
  • 1616: The New England Native Americans are struck by a smallpox epidemic that destroys the population and John Rolfe and Pocahontas travel to England together for the first time.
  • 1617: Pocahontas dies from sickness she caught in England.
  • 1619: The House of Burgesses was formed in Virginia, which becomes the first representative colonial assembly and slavery is introduced to the colonies in North America for the first time.
  • 1620: The Mayflower Compact was signed and Plymouth Colony is founded in Massachusetts, with John Carver becoming the first governor of this colony
  • 1621: Sir Francis Wyatt is named the new governor of Virginia and John Carver, the governor of Plymouth colony, dies.
  • 1622: Plymouth colony names William Bradford as the new governor.
  • 1623: David Thomas finds the first English settlement in New Hampshire.
  • 1624: Virginia becomes a Crown Colony (a British colony where the royals control the legislature and administration).