New England Colonies
The Middle Colonies
The Middle Colonies included New York, New Jersey and later Pennsylvania. England took control over New York and New Jersey in 1644. Both colonies were governed by a royal governor and a general assembly. Colonies relied on grain production, shipping and for trading with local Native Americans. In 1681 King Charles the second granted the last unclaimed tract of American land to William Penn. Penn was a Quaker who launched a "holy experiment" by founding a colony, based on religious tolerance. The Quakers had long been discriminated against in the Americas and England for their religious beliefs and their refusal to bear arms. By the 1700's Pennsylvania capital, Philadelphia had become the largest city of colonies with a population of 20,000.
Virginia, Jamestown, dominated the Southern colonies, which included the Chesapeake colonies, Maryland and the Carolinas. This region was more religiously and ethnically diverse than the middle or New England. They were harboring immigrants from all over Europe, many Roman Catholics and a large number of African Slaves. Families were smaller because adult men far outnumbered women. Men were needed to work on the region's massive plantations. The plantations produced, tobacco, rice and indigo influenced all aspects of life in the south. The size of plantations limited the development of cities and a merchant class, which had brought such wealth to New England. Plantations drew many immigrants to the Chesapeake region during the seventeenth century.As tobacco plantations grew in size and demand for workers increased, slavery became the preferred source of labor: it proved economically profitable and eased the class struggles.At this time, fewer than 1,000 slaves lived in Maryland and Virginia. Over the next forty years, that number grew to nearly 20,000.