Differences Between New England Colonies Essay

As the colonies of America were being settled and beginning to grow, each colony began to develop its own differences and identity in the New World. Many people immigrated to the colonies be it puritans, slaves, farmers, quakers and various other groups, all came to escape persecution, start a new life, or make money in the New World; giving the colonies their own mix of personalities. From the rocky coasts of New England to the large fields and plantations of the southern colonies, the different attributes of these colonies as well as the similarities became for visible and began to show the beginnings of the United States of today.

The New England colonies included Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and connecticut and the Southern colonies were made up of Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland. Since the last colony was settled, Georgia in 1733, The Americans grew to be independent and develop personalities of their environment and impact the world, with their actions still visible today. The New England colonies and the southern colonies had similarities and many differences in their economic systems, religious practices, and political powers.

The economies of the New England and southern colonies differed very much due to the environment and the materials that were available to the colonist. In New England the land was littered with rocks and stones, which prevented many farms or big plantations as in the southern colonies. The New Englanders had big harbours and most of the land was forests, so lumber and shipbuilding became much of the main commerce of the northern colonies. The biggest source of economy was fishing hich fed the colonist and brought in money and supplies from trading. The cod fish, one of the main fish caught and sold in New England, is represented in the Massachusetts state house in boston still today as a statue to show how important fishing was to New England. In contrast to the north, the southern colonies relied mainly on agriculture for its economy. Due to the large open fields and flat grounds most of the south was made up of small farms, and many large plantations were scattered throughout.

These plantations and farms planted tobacco beans, squash, corn, and rice that ran the markets and commerce of the south. The work required much labor and manpower, so many slaves were brought over from africa and sold, though slaves were in all of the colonies, most were in the south to help with the hot and hard work. The economic ways of the colonies in the 17th century are still mostly the same today and these differences were what made up the New England and Southern colonies. In addition, the colonies differed in their religious ways and practices.

The puritan faith ruled most of New England, as the separatist pilgrims and the Massachusetts Bay puritans were the main groups the started the New England colonies, after immigrating to the New World after escaping persecution in england. The puritans had a strict faith and only certain people who were “free and elect” could be apart of the church. Although puritanism wasn’t the main religion of the New England colonies, it had a major influence on it from church to state, and the puritans were not tolerant of many other religions.

The fire and brimstone teachings, and the rules of the puritan New England differed from the loose anglican southern colonies. Most of the southern colonist were anglican, church of England, but they were not as strict or serious in their faith as their northern counterparts. Most of the south was more concerned in the tobacco and plantations and many southern colonist did not proudly or strongly all themselves anglican. The strength of religion can be justified, since most of the New England colonist immigrated to America to escape religious persecution from england, and most of the southern colonist came to America for money and land.

The religious practices of the New England and Southern colonies varied extremely and shaped the colonies to be what they were. Also, though the politics of the colonies did share similarities, there were differences on how and who ran the government. In the New England Colonies most of the politics were led by the Congregational Church, which was made up of puritan adult males. The Congregation Church met in town meeting, in which issues,laws, and other things were brought up and each man was able to have a vote on the matter.

These meetings allowed New England colonist to elect officials and have a say on the politics of their colony. These meeting were considered the basics of democracy and the start of it in America. Thomas Jefferson even said the town meetings were,” the best school of political liberty the world ever saw. ” In the southern colonies, most of the power and politics were handled by rich families that owned many slaves and a large amount of land. These families were known as the “first families of virginia”. These families monopolized the economy with large plantations and held much of the political say and power in the House of Burgesses.

The House of Burgesses was the government of the south that was made up of a representative body of member from the southern colonies. The House was the earliest form of democracy in the New World and is a model on how or House of Representatives is run today. Though there were some differences in the New England and Southern politics, the colonies of the north and south both had beginnings of democracy and were examples of the modern United States. The New England and Southern colonies shared many similarities and contrasts in their economic systems, religious practices, and political powers.

From the start of the colonies in Jamestown, Virginia all the way to the beginnings of the constitution, the environment, people, and working of the colonist allowed America to take its unique shape in the world. The differences of the land, trade, and religions of the world shaped the colonies and gave a view of America today. The immigrants who traveled far to come to this land be it for money or freedom, molded the colonies with their own identities. These differences in many things and the shared attributes are what made up and separate the New England and Southern colonies.