The Original Colonies
There are three groups used to categorize the
original thirteen colonies. They are:
The Southern colonies
The New England colonies
The Middle colonies
New England Colonies
The four original New England colonies included:
New England colonies had rocky thin soil, so they
couldn’t farm. Fishing brought great prosperity to
the New England colonies. Whaling also brought in
a lot of the colonies’ profits.
The New England colonies were heavily involved in
commerce. The trade with England allowed ship
holders to flourish. Further, they traded with the
West Indies and the French colonies to the north.
Even though there wasn’t much fertile soil for
farming, towns were surrounded by farms owned by
the workers. They had a high degree of mechanical
ingenuity and self-sufficiency.
Religion in the New
Many individuals in the New England colonies were
Calvinists or heavily influenced by John Calvin's
works and thought. Many people were also Puritans.
The original Middle Colonies were:
The middle colonies had fertile land. Land was
generally acquired more easily than in New England
or in the South. Wheat and corn from local farms
would feed the American colonies through their
colonial infancy and revolutionary adolescence.
Important Attributes: The
The Middle colonies were not as well known for
their farming as they were for their mills and bread.
Their mills were powered by water. On average, a
person in the Middle colonies ate about 1 pound of
bread per day.
There were a variety of jobs in the middle colonies
due to the varying climate and the different needs of
the people. The main jobs were:
Religion in the Middle
The Middle colonies presented an assortment of
religions. The presence of Quakers, Mennonites,
Lutherans, Dutch Calvinists, and Presbyterians made
the dominance of one faith next to impossible.
The original Southern colonies were:
The founders of the Southern Colonies came to America
seeking wealth in the form of landownership. Some were
rich aristocrats from England who became owners of
huge tracts of land in America. These landowners
recognized that the Southern Colonies were rich in
farmland. The coastal plains and the rolling hills were
perfect for raising crops. The rich soil and the warm
weather helped the crops thrive. They established very
large farms known as plantations. Each plantation
required many, many workers. Growing the crops was
nearly a year-round job in the warmer colonies, and there
were lots of other jobs to do on a large plantation too.
Plantation owners could not find enough workers among
the European immigrants to the United States. Most of
these immigrants wanted to farm their own land, not
work for someone else. The Native Americans were not
interested in taking jobs on the plantations either. The
plantation owners found the solution to their labor
shortage on a Dutch slave ship. They purchased their first
slaves in Jamestown in 1619. According to some histories,
these first African Americans were known as servants
rather than slaves. Either way, they were forced to work
on the plantations.
The economy in the Southern colonies was
dependent on farming. This is why plantations were
so common in the south. The main types of crops
Religion in the Southern
The southern colonies were made up of religiously
diverse settlers. The settlers were mostly Anglicans,
Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians.
The Triangular Trade
The Triangular Trade was a system in which slaves,
crops, and manufactures were traded between
Africa, the Caribbean, and the American colonies.
The majority of slaves transported to the New World
were Africans from the central and western parts of
Africa, sold by native African tribes to European
slave traders who then transported them to the
colonies in North and South America.
The Great Awakening
The Great Awakening was a spiritual renewal that
swept the American Colonies, particularly New
England, during the first half of the 18th Century.
Certain Christians began to disassociate themselves
with the established approach to worship at the time
which had led to a general sense of complacency
among believers, and instead they adopted an
approach which was characterized by great fervor
and emotion in prayer.
The Age of
The Enlightenment was appreciated by many people
in the colonies who tried to keep up with the
advancements of the Europeans. Professor John
Winthrop was among those responsible for the
spread of enlightenment in America.