How were the various areas of the North American British colonies developed differently?

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martinjmurphy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The thirteen British colonies in North America have historically been divided into three regions, Southern Colonies, New England Colonies, and Middle Colonies.  Each had its unique qualities.  Geography played a big role in how each region developed.  The Southern colonies had rich soil, mild winters, a long growing season, and abundant rainfall.  This led the Southern colonies to turn primarily to agriculture and the creation of large plantations and reliance on slave labor. The New England colonies had harsh winters, a short growing season, and good harbors.  This led them to turn more to manufacturing and commerce, and farming on a much smaller scale than the South.  And then there were the Middle colonies.  They had fertile soil, moderate winters, rolling hills, and mineral deposits. This led the Middle colonies to have a much more diverse economy than the Southern or New England colonies.  The Middle colonies developed an economy that was based on a combination of agriculture similar to the Southern colonies and manufacturing and commerce similar to the New England colonies.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are generally said to be three regions of these colonies that developed somewhat differently from one another.  These were New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies.

New England developed a mixed economy that was based largely on trade and other maritime activities.  The land in that region was not really good for large-scale agriculture and the economy came to be based largely on the sea. 

The Middle Colonies became more of an agricultural area.  These colonies were home to larger farms and more of commercial farming.  The colonies were less involved in trade than New England.

The Southern Colonies were developed as plantation economies based on slave labor.  These colonies relied on staple crops grown on large plantations.  These crops were raised specifically for export.