Effect of Geography on English Colonies in America

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A.P US History The Effect Of Geography On English Colonies The New England, Middle and Southern colonies were all English ruled, but yet very different. Among their distinctions, was the geography which played an important role in shaping these colonies. New England attracted Puritan farmers who wanted to separate from the Catholic Church. But because of the bone dry soil in the North, these colonists found they couldn't continue with their traditional ways of farming. However, with the immense amounts of water that surrounded them, they found that they could fish and trade. The Middle colonies on the other, hand had a moderate amount of everything. The fertile soil and the major seaports such as Philadelphia and New York, allowed these Middle colonists to make a living any way they saw fit. This led to the brisk development of the Middle Seaboard . Unlike the Middle and Northern colonies, the Southern colonies had large amounts of fertile land allowing for the development of large plantations. Because farming the plantations was the economic thrust for the South, towns and cities developed slowly. Thusly Geography greatly affected the lifestyles of these regions in the New World. The characteristics that came to shape the life in New England were the rocky, barren soil, the extreme climate and the rich waters. Although there was farming in New England , colonists looked to other means of survival. They looked to the rich waters for fishing and trade. The coastline of New England was very fertile with sealife. So, fishing became a way of commerce and trade providing a steady economy to New England. Because of the rocky soil and extreme climate, the colonists were forced to plant many different crops on a small pa... ... middle of paper ... ...le and Northern colonies, the Southern rivers did not freeze, therefore commerce was year round. The flip side to having a warm climate, is the increase in growth of bacteria and disease. Consequently, the Southern colonists faced a shorter life span. Women were often left widows leaving them the rights to their husbands' estate. Therefore, women had the opportunity and position to have more power. As a result of this warmer area, agriculture shaped the plantation colonies. It is evident then, that geography and climate greatly shaped the lifestyles of the early colonies. The frigid North had the close knit towns, smaller farms and central governing bodies. The moderate climate of the Middle colonies allowed for prosperous farming, trade and, opportunity. Large plantations ruled the Southern Colonies with their scattered settlements and independently-run lifestyles.

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