Comparing the Colonies Section 1: Introduction

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Comparing the Colonies

Section 1: Introduction

In Chapter 6, you read about the first English colonies in North America. In this chapter, you will learn about other colonies. These, too, were on the Atlantic coast of what would become the United States.

In 1707, England and Wales joined Scotland under one government. This nation was called Great Britain.Its people were the British. By the mid-1700s, Great Britain had 13 colonies in North America.

There were three regions within the colonies: the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. The regions had distinct geographic features, including landforms, natural resources, and climate. Their economies were based on local products and services. An economy is the way in which people use resources to produce, sell, or trade goods and services to meet their needs and wants. Some colonies had governments that were more democratic than others.

The map and matrix below help organize facts about the three colonial regions. Use these tools to remember this information.

Section 2 - The New England, Middle, and Southern Colonial Regions

People came to each of the colonial regions for different reasons. Each region had its own geography. Each region offered settlers special choices and ways of life.

The New England region included the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It had rocky soil, dense forests, and natural harbors that gave easy access to the sea. New England’s economy was built on small farms, lumbering, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. Most New England colonists were Puritans. They wanted to change the practices of the Church of England, or the Anglican Church. Religion was an important part of their lives.
The Middle Colonies included New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This region had rich soil. Farmers raised livestock and grew crops. They sold pork, beef, wheat, and barley (a type of grain) to other colonies. The Middle Colonies had a diverse population. The region’s strong economy attracted people from other European countries besides Great Britain, such as Germany and Ireland. These people practiced many different religious beliefs.
The Southern Colonies included Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.This region’s geography favored cash crops. Rich men came to this region from Great Britain. They grew cash crops such as tobacco and rice on plantations. Plantations needed many workers. At first, landowners used American Indians and indentured servants to plant and harvest plantation crops. Indentured servants also worked in other places in the colonies. Soon, Southern landowners began to replace these workers with enslaved Africans.

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