The 17th century was the colonial era when the British settled in North America. These colonies are categorized into three groups- New England, Middle, and Southern. Although economy and religion had importance, geography was the primary factor in shaping the development of the British colonies.
Although the separatists came to North America for religious reasons, it was not the reason for New England’s development and prosperity. Geography is the primary factor because economic activities and trade were all dependent of the environment in which the colonists lived. Its cold climate, thick forest, and poor rocky soil made the land unsuitable for crops. Therefore, they had to rely on the natural resources they had. The towns along the coast made their living off fish, whaling, and shipbuilding. The coast New England settled on is important in showing the precedence of geography because it provided the colonies with a booming cod fishing industry. If they had not settled where they did, they would not have developed such a marketable product. The cod fishing industry along with the triangular trade is the reason economy was the secondary factor. Cod played an important role in developing the economy of colonial New England. In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote about New England cod fishing as an example of the successful practice of free enterprise. The triangular trade route, which came to Boston in 17th century, is another example of economy contributing the development of the colonies. Boston carried rum made in New England to Africa to trade for slaves that were brought to Caribbean plantations, where molasses was purchased and brought back to New England to make rum. This is important because this new economic development was a huge growth of rum-making distilleries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It also gave a push to other industries, such as shipbuilding to carry goods to longer distances such as Africa. Religion was the last factor in the...
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