Comparison and Contrast of the New England, Middle and Southern Colonies
After the establishment of the thirteen British colonies were divided into three geographical areas, these areas include: the New England, Middle and Southern colonies. Each and every one of these colonies had their own specific developments that were unique to the regions. There were quite a number of similarities in the development of the three colonies, however, they were totally different socially, politically and economically. One of the comparable similarities was the fact that they all were democratic. The difference is that they their democratic governments were governed in different types of ways. For instance, the New England colonies were a Theocracy, which meant that the government was controlled by the church. The middle colonies had their church and government separated while the Southern colonies possessed the least autonomy since they were an Oligarchy. Being an Oligarchy meant that the wealthy farmers and plantation owners controlled the government since they were the only people that had the ability to cater for their own expenses. Despite being self-ruled, the three colonies had distinguishing features, meaning they could treat or recognize someone or something differently.
The geographical position of New England and Middle colonies contributed to their economic development. For New England, the existing farms were small and located in the outskirts of the town. This was mainly because of the long winters and infertile soils in the area that made farming very difficult. Ship building was an important and relevant industry that needed resources such wood. The forests that exist in the region provided wood that was used for construction of boats. The middle colonies which comprised of New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the soil and climate in the regions were suitable for agricultural practices. Large amounts of wheat and other different cash crops were cultivated in these areas, which were harvested and sold in their local markets and overseas. The growth of some of the busiest ports such as New York and Philadelphia was spurred by the existence of foreign trade.
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The three colonies had several economic differences, the New England Colonies majored in the industrial field where they concentrated their work and efforts in fishing, ship-building and lumbering. The middle colonies also concentrated in industrial works as well as agricultural practices, where they did whaling, fishing, and furs. The Southern colonies mainly concentrated in agricultural practices and cultivated crops like rice, indigo, cotton, tobacco. The issue of slavery was rampant in the southern colonies, where it took root so firmly and not in the middle colonies or the New England. This was because the southern economy was built and centered on agriculture, particularly cotton cultivation. This agricultural industry required intense labor at that time which most farmers were unable to afford because of the high costs of hiring. They then opted for black slaves because of their cheap but reliable labor. North and Middle colonies had manufacturing as the predominant activity which did not require slave labor.
In summary, it is accurate to say that the three colonies were ethically, religiously, socially and economically diverse. They had however had slight similarities in their activities for example the existence of democracy in all the three colonies, except that fact the democracies were run in different ways. Many factors such favorable climate, geographical position and availability of resources were used to determine the dominant activity in each colony. A good example is the northern colony that made ships because of the availability of trees in their colony, and in turn used the ships to trade and make money.