Classifying the Colonies

Jamestown, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, & Georgia

Jamestown, Virginia

1. First permanent British North American colony.

  • This is significant because it was the first of many that ultimately grew into a powerful nation.

2. Tobacco

  • Tobacco basically saved the colony because it was so highly profitable. Without tobacco the colony would have continued to struggle with starvation and lack of money. No only was this significant to Jamestown but to many of the colonies, whose main export was Tobacco.

3. Only charter that granted the colonists the same rights as a British colony.

  • The was a unique characteristic only to Jamestown. This caused problems later on during the American Revolution, particularly with 'taxation without representation'.

4. John Smith

  • John Smith saved the struggling colony. His strong leadership helped organize the wealthy men, who spent all their time looking for gold, by stating "he who does not work, does not eat".

5. John Ralfe

  • John Ralfe discovered Tobacco and also ended the first Anglo-Powhatan War by his marriage to Pocahontas.

6. The Starving Time

  • The winter of 1609-1610, the first winter in Jamestown, the population dropped from 104 to 38 people. The colony was in such bad shape after John Smith returned to England, that almost everybody starved to death.

7. Primogenture- the passing of all property to the oldest son

  • This is significant because most of the original colonists were wealthy men that were not the first son, meaning they had to make their own living. Due to how the men were raised the colony nearly failed due to these men not knowing survival skills- hunting and fishing.

8. The House of Burgesses- the first legislative assembly in the colonies

  • This was created to make the local government more responsive. The significant is that is was the first legislative assembly in the colonies and many other government assembly were based off of the House of Burgesses.

9. Chesapeake Bay

  • The location of the colony is very significant because the Chesapeake Bay was basically a marsh land perfect for mosquitoes and the spread of disease. Many historians are surprised that Jamestown even survived because of the horrid living conditions.

10. Virginia Company of London

  • This joint stock company is significant because it funded Jamestown which started the first of many British colonies in North America.

John Ralfe

Massachusetts Bay

1. Founded by Puritans

  • This is significant because their ideals and moral can be seen throughout much of the colony (for example the government)

2. "We shall be a city upon a hill" ~John Winthrop

  • This was stated before landing in Massachusetts Bay and used as part of a 'pep talk' and demonstrates the goal for the colony. This is a biblical reference showing that the Puritans want their colony to be a strong colony that can serve as hope for others.

3. Started out with almost a thousand colonists, meaning Massachusetts started off on a larger scale than any other colony.

  • From the start Massachusetts had a big advantage to becoming successful due to how well prepared they came, population and supplies.

4. Bible Commonwealth- government based on the bible

  • This type of government caused religious leaders to have a large influence in the government but the Massachusetts Bay colonists believed is separation of church and state.

5. John Winthrope

  • First governor, he was very educated and helped the colony succeed.

6. Biggest and more influential of the New England colonies

  • Partly due to how prepared they were from the start.

7. Roger Williams

  • Radical idealist with an unrestrained tongue. He was banished from the colony in 1635 for challenging the colonies legality and fled to Rhode Island.

8. Location- Massachusetts Bay

  • The location is significant because it was in a much better place than the Cheasapeak Bay and did not have as big of a problem with disease.

9. Great Migration

  • The Great Migration was a time when around 20,000 refugees from England came to Massachusetts Bay colony. This was one reason this colony quickly became one of the most populous colonies.

10. Founded 1629

  • This is significant because it show that it is a few years after Jamestown and is evident in how much more prepared they came as compared to the colonists of Jamestown when they first arrived.

John Winthrope

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1. Quakers

  • Haven for Quakers, the reason it was founded

2. William Penn

  • Founder. His goals for the colony were haven for Quakers, an experiment on liberal government, and to make a profit.

3. Friendly relations with Indians

  • William Penn bought the land from the Indians keeping good relationships with all the Indians until non-Quakers moved in and underminded the Quakers.

4. Religious tolerance

  • There was religious tolerance for all but due to pressure from London no Catholics or Jews had the right to vote.

5. Strong dislike of African slaves

  • This strong dislike of slaves helped shape how this area would stand during the American Civil War.

6. Grain

  • Much like Tobacco for the South, grain was the main export and the basis for the economy.

7. No military defense

  • Qualities like no military really reflect who built this colony, the Quakers

8. Founded in 1681

  • Pennsylvannia was one of the biggest and weathiest colonies, only behind Jamestown and Massechusetts Bay due to them being established long before Pennsylvannia.

9. Hudson River

  • The location of the colony near the Hudson River helped define some of its characteristics. Such as the fertile soil and the strong fur industry.

10. Proprietary colony

  • William Penn was the proprietor for this colony. He ruled in a liberal way with a representative assembly.


1. Act of Toleration

  • First act of toleration in British North America

2. Proprietary colony

  • Lord Baltimore is the Proprietor (leader) of the colony. Only a couple of the colonies have this government making it a unique characteristic.

3. Founded as a refuge for Catholics

  • Catholic refugee until protestants started to outnumber catholics then Act of Toleration was put into place to protect Catholics rights.

4. Founded in 1634

  • This colony was founded in the middle of exploration causing it to be similar to many of the other colonies.

5. Used indentured servants

  • This caused many of the residents to be former indentured servants.

6. Chesapeake Bay

  • The location is significant because it had similar environment problems as Jamestown just not as bad.

7. Lord Baltimore

  • George Calvert is the founder of Maryland and is also the leader (Proprietor)

8. Tobacco

  • Just as in many of the southern colonies, Tobacco was the main crop and the basis for their economy.

9. Protestant surroundings

  • When the protestants started to overcome the Catholics, Lord Baltimore had make the Act of Toleration to insure Catholics got to keep their rights.

10. Susquehanna Indians

  • Maryland had a war with these Indians and when the war ended were still in high tensions with them. This is significant because it shows the relationship between the Indians and the colonialists.

Lord Baltimore

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1. "Buffer Colony"

  • The purpose of Georgia was to protect the other colonies from attacks from Spain (Florida) and France (Louisiana).

2. Founded in 1733

  • This is significant because this colony was founded 126 years after Jamestown and 56 years after Pennsylvania, which was the last colony formed besides Georgia. The colony being found so much later adds to its differences from the other colonies.

3. James Oglethorpe

  • Founder of Georgia. He is a philanthropist, able military leader, and a imperialistic leader. He was interested in prison reform which is what lead to Georgia becoming a debtors colony.

4. Debtors colony

  • The colony was formed with the goal of prison reform, particularly debtors dying away in jail who did not deserve to be there (according to Oglethorpe).

5. Religious tolerance for all except for Jews

  • Religious tolerance was a common thing among the colonies.

6. Only colony to receive monetary subsidies from British government due to its purpose of being a "buffer colony"

  • This is significant because Georgia is the only colony to receive these from the start, showing how different Georgia was from the other colonies.

7. Least populous

  • This was because it was not as desirable place to live due to most of the colonists being debtors just out of jail.

8. Poor farming

  • This is a major difference from most of the other colonies. The poor farming was due to the climate, the restrictions on slaves, and the constant attacks from Spain.

9. Proprietary Colony

  • James Oglethorpe was the proprietor for Georgia, which is evident in how much his personal views and goals are seen in Georgia.

10. No slavery

  • This was a characteristic not seen in many southern colonies. Eventually the colony did get slaves but the founders were not happy.

James Oglethorpe

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Ali Stonecipher 2nd Period