NEW ENGLAND COLONIES
Representative colony: Massachusetts Bay Colony
Settled by John Winthrop and the Puritans. They left England and founded the colony in order
to escape Catholicism and practice the religion of their choice. Their government was
dominated by the Puritan church, and only church leaders ran the government. Laws required
that everyone attend church, and all taxes went towards the Puritan church. Puritans created
a “city on a hill” where they planned for God to reward their faith with peace in America.
Although the colony was thriving with religious people, there were also others living in the
colony who were not converted. These people were called dissenters. They established their
own cities throughout the colony, bringing in wealth and commerce. This was the only reason
the Puritans allowed their stay in the colony.
Representative colony: Pennsylvania
William Penn founded the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681. He established a stable
government based on religious freedom for the Quakers. William Penn guaranteed everybody
the right to vote. The vast and open government that Penn had established attracted
immigrants from Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Soon, Pennsylvania grew into
one of the biggest, most important of the 13 colonies.
Representative colony: Virginia
Known as “the birthplace of the nation”, Jamestown was founded in 1607 by a group of
English settlers. Jamestown was originally established to gain wealth convert natives to
Christianity. In 1624 King James I revoked the charter of the Virginia Company.
Afterwards, Virginia became a royal colony. Jamestown was mainly used to grow tobacco that
was exported to England in exchange for clothing and other resources. Buildings were built
out of wood from the trees in the woods, and people were taught to hunt and gather their food.
DIFFERENCES IN THE 3
New England Colonies had a colder climate than the others. Soil was very
unfertile resulting in little plant growth. In the Northern Colonies fishing,
lumbering, shipbuilding, and fur trading were categories in which they thrived
in. As for the middle colonies, it was mainly a combination of both the North
and South colonies. Large cities were developed on the coast, and tobacco
was grown on small plantations. Selling lumber and fish was very important.
In the Southern colonies, they relied mainly on the farming of cotton. Cotton
was the South’s cash crop, and was grown and very large plantations.
Because plantations were so big in size, they needed many workers to help
harvest the cotton. This brought up slavery.
SIMILARITIES IN THE 3
Each colony was considered a “new society”. They were established to help
create something new, as a fresh start for settlers. Also, all three colonies
were very religious.
Massachusetts: As religious as the Massachusetts Bay Colony was, that
provided a stable foundation for Massachusetts today.
Pennsylvania: To this day, Pennsylvania continues to be an important state in
the U.S. The capital is still Philadelphia, and they continue to show a stable,
sturdy government system.
Virginia: Virginia today is still loaded with it’s fertile soil, producing resources
used around the world.
WHICH COLONY WOULD I
CHOOSE TO LIVE IN?
If I had to choose which colony to live in, I would probably choose
Pennsylvania. Being in between the two colonies just seems a lot better than
being on the end. Because agriculture and other things were influenced by
both the southern and northern colonies, everything people did was a blend.
Although they did not have fertile soil to grow crops, they had the coast line,
where they fished and built ships. Something I would not mind doing.