English North American Colonies Compare and Contrast
The British commenced their first successful settlement in the New World in the 17th Century known as the 13 Colonies. These colonies were divided among three regions: New England, Middle, Southern. Although the New England and Southern colonies had established frontiers of exclusion with the Native Americans, they had opposingpatterns of settlement and economic bases.Therefore,to a larger extent, the New England and Southern Colonies were more different than similar.
The New England and Southern Colonies had differing patterns of settlement. The New England Colonies had a greater number of towns. The towns were generally composed of extended families. The towns were closely knit together and usually supported a church and school, if necessary. In the New England region, the life expectancy was around 70 years old, and they had relatively low mortality rates. This was due to the lower numbers of epidemic diseases, clean air and water, and the climate. The greater life expectancy increased the population, making it easier to establish towns. Unlike their northern neighbors, the Southern Colonies had dispersed communities. The southern economy was heavily based around tobacco, so people would set out westwards in search for arable land, which led to distant settlements. The lack of settlements resulted in few community service areas such as churches or schools. The Southern Colonies had high mortality rates due to the greater amount of epidemic diseases that could have been spread by mosquitoes. Men expected to live until their forties, and women were expected to live until their thirties. Also, one in every four children died during childbirth. The shorter life expectancy made it difficult to create towns and maintain extended families. These factors had segregated the two colonial regions in terms of settlement patterns.
The colonial regions had separate economies, evolving around different elements. The Southern colonies were established for economic reasons. The English had sought out natural resources to provide wealth for the nation. The Southern Colonies' economy was heavily based around agriculture, specifically a single cash crop, tobacco. The settlers had exported tobacco to England, and it had resulted in a high demand. The Southern colonies had much more arable land than the New England Colonies, therefore they had produced more crops. The production of tobacco required great manual labor, so the landowners had laborers through the form of indentured servants or slaves. As time progressed, there was a decrease in indentured servants and an increase in imported slaves. The south had a large number of slaves, who contributed for more than 20 percent of the population by 1770. A large majority of the settlers were more driven for money, resulting in a more rural population of individuals. The New England Colonies were founded for religious reasons for reformers and separatists. They had fled England primarily due to disagreements between their religion and the Church of England. Overall, the people of the New England region were connected to their church and community. New England specialized in shipbuilding, however this changed as they began to create factories. The area was ideal for factories due to possibility of generating machinery powered by water mills. The greater amount of factories and the limited amount of arable lands in the north lessened the demand for slaves, so there was a significantly smaller slave population. For these reasons, the New England and Southern Colonies had differing economic bases.
The Southern and New England Colonies had established frontiers of exclusions, meaning the Native Americans were removed from society. Both had relied on the Native Americans in the beginning of their settlements. In the south, specifically the Chesapeake Region, they had relied on the Native Americans for food. During the birth of Jamestown, the settlers had little success because they wasted a majority of their time drinking and gambling. As time elapsed, they undertook planting tobacco. They no longer needed the Native Americans to supply food for them nor did they need them for labor. As the tobacco business boomed, they sought more land. The land they had desired was Native American territory, and to acquire this land, they had either forced them to relocate of exterminated the tribe as a whole. In the New England region settlement of Plymouth, the Pokunokets had offered food in exchange for the English forming an alliance with their enemies. The Puritans eventually allied with the Narragansett Native American tribe, the enemies of the Pequot's, to attack the Pequot village where they had burned their homes and slaughtered the tribe members. The Narragansetts were shocked by the brutality of the Englishmen and had terminated their alliance. This had marked the rise of frontiers of exclusions between the English and Native Americans in the New England Colonies. King Philip's War had marked the last attempt of the Native Americans of the New England region to remove the English settlers from their land. King Philip, or Pokunoket's Chief Metacom, had led an uprising of the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Pocumtuck, and Narragansett tribes. Metacom had attempted to forge an alliance with the Iroquois Confederacy, but the Iroquois people had declined. Instead, the Iroquois allied with the English, captured Metacom, and forced him back to Pokunoket territory where his head was severed.The war resulted in the death of 3,000 Native Americans, which gave more land to the English. This had nearly exterminated the Native American population, creating a larger frontier of exclusion. Neither the Southern nor the New England Colonies had incorporated the Native Americans into society, making them both frontiers of exclusion.
While the New England and Southern Colonies had numerous differences, they also had similarities. Both the colonial regions had adopted frontiers of exclusion with the Native Americans, however they had opposing patterns of settlement and economic bases. Therefore, the New England and Southern Colonies are more different than similar.