There are several traits to discuss with the New England colonies. Let's think about them in terms of political, economic, and cultural, for organizational purposes. Politically, the New England colonies operated on a charter system. Essentially, these states had governors and were democratically elected. The charters, however, were controlled by the English monarchy.
Economically, the colonies relied on fishing and trading as their primary sources of income. Subsistence farming was definitely possible, but it was very difficult because of the New England geography and climate, having rocky soils and harsh winters. The colonies benefited from a vast coastline that harbored ports essential for trading and fishing.
Culturally, the colonies shared similar religious practices. Most of the New England colonists practiced the Puritan religion. These colonies were an escape from religious persecution, much like other colonies in America at that time. This religion focused on establishing New England as a religious area, unlike England at the time.