Development of the Colonies

Characteristics Throughout the Colonies

The European Colonies; New England, Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies, all differed in their use of Characteristics and resources. The Characteristics most prominent were; Economic, Social, and Political.

New England Colonies Characteristics

The Economic characteristics of New England included shipbuilding, fishing, lumbering, small- scale subsistence farming, and manufacturing. As for the Social standing, New England was based on religious standing; as result, Puritans grew strongly intolerant of dissenters. Lastly, at the Political standpoint New England used town meetings as their main form of government.

Middle Colonies Characteristics

The Middle Colonies included, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. These colonies developed an Economic base through shipbuilding, small- scale farming, and trading. The Social characteristics included multiple religious groups and tolerance. Quakers were present in Pennsylvania, Huguenots and Jews in New York, and Presbyterians in New Jersey. The Political characteristics were incorporated through multiple democratic principals that represented the common Englishman.

Southern Colonies Characteristics

The Economic characteristics of the Southern Colonies greatly utilized cash crops, plantations, small- scale farming, hunting, and trading. The specific cash crops used were tobacco, rice and indigo. The Social structure was based on family status and ownership of land. The Political standings maintained a connection with Britain and as well played a lead role in representing colonial legislatures.

Conflicts and Solutions

In the Southern colonies, a slavery- based agricultural economy eventually was created. This development later created conflict between the North and South; leading to the start of the American Civil War. As result of the conflict and slavery beginning, many forcibly migrated to the New World via the Middle Passage. Mainly Indentured servants worked to pay off debt in the New World; however, it was more ideal for those individuals.

The Great Awakening

The "Great Awakening" was a religious movement that came through both Europe and the colonies during the mid- 1700's. As result, a rapid growth in evangelic religions spread; it as well challenged the established religion and government laws. It then became one of the social foundations of the American Revolution.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Cash Crops allowed advancements in trade throughout the Southern colonies; what were the main used products used for cash crops?
  2. What advancement was given to the New England Colonies that would allow their economy to benefit from shipbuilding?
  3. Why was it found necessary to introduce slavery to the colonies? In what forms did the colonies advance/ benefit from the actions of slavery?
  4. Did the Great Awakening act positively towards the colonies and their people, or did it result in more negative outcomes? Why or why not?
  5. Was the idea of unification between the colonies important; or, was the functionality of the individual colonies of higher value?