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13 Original Colonies
Transcript of 13 Original Colonies
During the 17th century, many people left England and journeyed to North America. They came for a variety of reasons. Some wanted to gain wealth. Others hoped to find a place where they could freely practice their own religion. Together, these settlers established colonies along the Atlantic coast from Georgia to Maine. Their different motivations, as well as the geographic diversity of the land, contributed to a great deal of economic, political, and social diversity within the English Colonies.
What is a colony?
A colony is a group of people in one place who are ruled by a parent country elsewhere. In this case, ENGLAND is the parent country.
When we talk about the New England colonies, certain characteristics are common. For example, the soil in New England is VERY rocky. If you had very rocky soil, would farming be an easy way to make a living? No! That’s why most of the New Englanders were fishermen, shippers, and lumbermen.
Now, what about the climate? The climate is harsh, especially in the winter. Because the winter is so long, farmers can only plant one crop a year.
What is east of the colonies? The Atlantic Ocean. Now do you understand why shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing are so important to this region? The geography of this area will not allow for successful farming, so the people turned to other ways to make a living.
New England Colonies
The Middle Colonies are known as “The Breadbasket.” They get this nickname because the geography of the region makes it a great place to farm certain crops like wheat, corn, barley, and rye.
The soil is fertile and contains fewer rocks than in New England.
The climate is temperate (which means there are 4 distinct seasons). The middle colonies also have resources which make it easy to produce goods.
The southern colonies are nearly the opposite of New England. The South has excellent soil. It also has a mild climate, which means multiple plantings per year. It has abundant rainfall and things tend to grow very well.
The major cash crops at the time were rice, indigo, and tobacco. The South did not manufacture and build ships like New England because farmers were very successful.
The South usually traded for their manufactured goods from England, which in turn, bought southern cash crops. The south based its economy on the plantation system of farming that used slave labor. In the early colonial period, slaves arrived directly from Africa.
Indentured servants were people who could not afford to come to North America on their own. They agreed to work for a landowner for up to seven years in exchange for the landowner paying for their trip.
Slavery is a system in which people are “owned” like property. By the mid 1600s, slavery was firmly rooted throughout the colonies, especially in the South. Slaves normally arrived by way of the Middle Passage (the route taken by ships carrying slaves from Africa to North America). The trip was called the “Middle Passage” because it was the middle leg of the triangular trade route (trade between 3 points: England, Africa, and the Americas). Many slaves died during the middle passage, mostly from disease.
Answer the following questions:
Describe conditions on slave ships.
Where did majority of slaves work?
What were the conditions like on a plantation?
Who is responsible for slavery? Explain.