The Thirteen Colonies
The thirteen colonies were divided into three regions: the Southern colonies, the Middle colonies, and the New England colonies. Each region can be characterized based on its geography, climate, economy and culture. These qualities may also be used to compare and contrast regions.
One quality used to characterize the colony regions is its geography and climate. Both the Southern and Middle colonies have fertile soil and long growing seasons, while the New England colonies have very poor soil. The Backcountry of the Southern colonies contained mountains, springs, streams, rivers, forests and rough roads. The New England colonies also had forests, and the Middle colonies had coastal lowlands containing harbors (such as the New York Port) and bays. The New England colonies had the longest, coldest winters, the Middle colonies had a milder climate, and the Southern colonies had the warmest climate. Geography and climate is one way colonial regions are compared and contrasted.
The colonial regions were also characterized based upon their economy. The colonies all took part in trade: the New England colonies were a part of the triangular trade, the Southern colonies traded goods with the natives there, and the Middle colonies traded fur and grains. Unlike the Southern and Middle colonies, the New England colonies had very poor soil therefore they did not have major crop profits. The Middle colonies had the cash crop of flour, and the Southern colonies grew rice and tobacco on plantations as well as indigo. Shipbuilding was a major industry of the New England colonies, lumbering and mining were important to the Middle colonies, as cash crops and fishing were to the Southern. Economics are used to compare and contrast the colonies.
The culture of the region is another way the colonies are compared and contrasted. All of the colony regions had slaves, though the South had the largest percent (forty) of enslaved Africans because they were a...
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