Colonial America

Chantell Mack

New England Colonies

New England colonies spanned modern day in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island. It is centered on small farming, fishing, and home manufactures. As well as sea trade and ship building. The region quickly expanded as immigrants streamed in families grow. New Englanders lived 15-25 years, part to a better diet, longer than their British counterparts or colonists in other regions. It is the most literate community in the world. In order to vote, the person had to be a member in a good standing church. Religious dissenters were subjected to public spectacle or banishment. By 1641, New England established a tradition of self-government. Connecticut government had similar voting rights: all male landowners were granted suffrage under the fundamentals orders of Connecticut. In 1655 four royal commissioners inspecting Massachusetts were treated rudely and urged King Charles to revoke the colony's Charter. He did not comply.

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.

Southern Colonies

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.

Similarities and Differences

All of the colonies had wanted religious freedom. Colonial America also had regional differences among culture or historical reason for establishment as a colony. The Southern Colonies were established as economic ventures and were seeking natural resources to provide material wealth to the mother country and themselves. In contrast, the early New England colonists were primarily religious reformers . They were seeking a new way of life to praise God and for the greater good of their spiritual life. The Middle colonies welcomed people from various and diverse lifestyles.