New England, Southern and Middle Colonies’ Comparison Essay
Different people from Britain established their colonies in America due to various reasons. The colonialists found Jamestown, where they later established settlements. The colonies were located in three different geographical areas. They were New England, Southern, and Middle colonies. The colonies had similarities and differences in terms of culture, religion, and economy. The colonialists had different reasons for settling in America, but the main reason was for economic empowerment. Based on this, the principal objective of this paper is to discuss the contrasting features of the three colonies by placing close focus on the geographic perspective of the colonies.
One of the similarities of the three colonies is that the practiced democratic ruling; however, they run their democratic governments differently. The middle colonies used a governance platform that alienated the church from controlling the society. New England, on the other hand, used the teachings of the church to control the government. The government controlled the southern colonies only because the large plantations they owned enabled them to finance their expenses; hence, the southern colonies did not focus on the doctrines of the church (Keene, Saul, and Edward 220). The three colonies were established in different geographic locations. The New England covered four main geographic areas in America. Each of these had unique geographic features that differentiated them from each other (Keene, Cornell and O’Donnell 218).
The three colonies had environmental differences. The New England colonies experienced a cooler climate compared to the other colonies because of its location in the far north of America. The region experienced severe winters that posed major challenges to the government because of the high death rates caused by the extreme weather conditions. The colonies had a rocky terrain with soils that did not favor crop farming. The people in the region had to depend on other economic activities like fish farming. The people in the New England colonies had a puritan form of religion (“Climate of the Three Colonies” par. 1).
The southern colonies had a warm climate, and this made it a comfortable area for the colonialists. The climate negatively affected people’s lives because it facilitated the spread of diseases that killed many people. The colonies had a hilly geographic terrain, and large portions of the land were covered with forests. The coastal regions were plain that had fertile soil, thereby facilitating farming. The society in the colonies had religious freedom, and there was no particular religion that dominated the region (“Climate of the Three Colonies” par. 3).
The climate and geographical terrain of the southern colonies were a combination of the features in the southern and New England colonies. As a result, they provided food to the other colonies because of the favorable climate, which facilitated crop farming. In addition, it was rich in resources, including rivers and ports. The ports enabled easy access to the Atlantic and back country. The social structure in the colonies was clearly highlighted through social-economic boundaries. The rich owned the lands and some lived in the urban areas. The lower class was made of the poor whites and black Americans who provided labor to the farms and factories of the colonies (Kennedy, Cohen and Piehl 43).
There are differences between the three colonies. The first difference is the trade systems in the respective regions. The agricultural products in the New England colonies were imported because of the harsh climatic conditions that did not favor agriculture. The southern colonies, on the other hand, exported much of its agricultural products because it had fertile lands that supported the production of agricultural products. The middle colonies did not trade in agricultural products because the climate only favored subsistence agricultural production (Keene, Cornell and O’Donnell 224).
The three colonies also had different manufacturing industries. The harsh climate in the New England colonies did not favor agriculture: hence, they engaged in manufacturing as a way of making a living (“Climate of the Three Colonies” par. 1). The southern colony concentrated in agriculture and it traded-in most of its agricultural products for the manufactured products from the colonies held by the New England settlers (“Climate of the Three Colonies” par. 3). The colonies in the south focused more on the natural resources compared to the other two colonies. The southern colonies did not develop their urban centers because they placed much of their focus on farming. The New England colonies, on the other hand, developed numerous urban centers. The middle colonies were not as successful as the New England colonies, but they concentrated on their ports as the major source of economic developments (“Climate of the Three Colonies” par. 2).
The three colonies had major differences in their governments, religion, manufacturing industries, and trading activities. The differences were present because of the differences in climate and geographical features of their lands. The territories embraced a democratic form of government embracing various aspects of freedom for the people in the colonies. The difference in their respective forms of governance saw the people in the New England colonies having the highest autonomy while those in the southern colonies had the least.
Climate of the Three Colonies 2012. Web.
Keene, Jennifer D, Saul Cornell and Edward T. O’Donnell. Visions of America: A History of the United States. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
Kennedy, David M, Lizabeth Cohen and Mel Piehl. The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
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