The Impact of Geography in North America

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Geography played a very important role in the making of the British colonies in North America. During early settlement, colonies were formed along the coast or rivers. Because colonies were completely linked and dependent on Europe at this point in time, the coast made it easier for two countries to transport to one another. To the west, the Appalachian Mountains provided a barrier between the inland Native America tribes and the settlers who were often at war with one another. The locations where the English colonists had settled affected their society greatly and were the primary factors for shaping the colonies into what they became. In some areas, the geography influenced the living and farming conditions for the better, but in other areas, for the worse. From the swampy areas of Jamestown to the bays of the Northern colonies, each played a huge part in the development of the colonies. The colonies that were founded in the middle and south of the east coast fared off much better than colonies in northern locations but had a very rough beginning. Jamestown, one of the first colonies to make it, was unprepared for their new surroundings and was almost killed off entirely on the first winter. An unknown man who lived through all chaos had written, “Of five hundred persons within six months after Captain Smith’s departure there remained not sixty men.” (The Starving Time). The colonists could not support themselves because they were not sufficient in hunting or growing crops, leaving many of them to starve to death. Thankfully the local Indians were around to aid the colonist until they could establish themselves. Soon tobacco arrived as a major cash crop just in time and thanks to the very fertile soil in and around Jamestown the tobacco industry boomed there. With the help of tobacco the Jamestown colony thrived and allowed other colonies to grow.  Because the Middle colonies’ land was very fertile, it was well suited for farming and planting. The climate was...
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