In what ways were the English colonies alike in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in what ways were they regionally distinctive?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There were ways the English colonies were similar and regionally different in the 1600s and 1700s. Similarities included heritage, government, needs, and concerns. Differences included jobs, use of slaves, and climate.

There were similarities for the English colonies. They all faced similar needs and concerns when they began. Would they survive in the new land? How would they deal with Native Americans? Would they get everything they needed from England? Another similarity is that the King of England ran most of the colonies. In other words, they were royal colonies. All of the colonies had some form of representative government. They were English citizens and believed they had the same rights as the people who lived in England. They wanted to continue to follow English ways of living and traditions.

There were also differences between the English colonies. The people who lived in the South were most likely farmers. Those who lived in New England were more likely to run businesses, fish, manufacture things, and build ships. The reason for the differences in jobs was the climate was different in each region. New England had a cold climate with rocky soil that wasn’t good for farming. The South had a warm, mild climate with fertile soil that was great for farming. As a result, the South used many more slaves than New England did. Most slaves were used on the southern farms.

There were similarities and differences between the colonies while they were part of the British Empire. Some of the similarities and many of the differences continued after they became independent.

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