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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The colonies were alike in that they all had close ties to England. They were mainly inhabited by English-speaking people. Aside from some of Maryland, they were largely Protestant. They had their own forms of self-government, but they owed their allegiance to Parliament and the King. All the colonies experienced...

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The colonies were alike in that they all had close ties to England. They were mainly inhabited by English-speaking people. Aside from some of Maryland, they were largely Protestant. They had their own forms of self-government, but they owed their allegiance to Parliament and the King. All the colonies experienced trouble with native groups at one time or another. All the colonies had someone who owned at least one slave, though some colonial societies were more dependent on this than others. The colonists also observed English customs such as having tea.

Regionally, the colonies were quite different. In the South, slaves were needed to work large-scale plantations. The South grew cash crops such as sugar and tobacco; towards the latter part of the period, many would make the shift to cotton. Southerners more more likely to live farther apart since their farms were large. Malaria was also a problem in the South.

In the North, people lived on smaller farms and in urban areas. Many New England residents turned away from farming altogether and looked to trade, whaling, and shipbuilding. They were also the least religiously tolerant of any of the colonists, with the local Calvinist church being the most important social institution in town.

The Middle Colonies were agriculturally the most prosperous and the most tolerant, with New York and Pennsylvania welcoming Jews and Germans who were willing to work hard in trades and agriculture.

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If you look at the American colonies collectively, in general they are divided into three zones: the New England colonies, the middle colonies, and the southern colonies. There are certain similarities that run across them. For one thing, they were all agrarian economies. This is important, because even though New England might be known for its comparatively extensive trade and manufacturing, the vast majority of its population was still made up farmers. Additionally, all of the colonies were governed under English political and legal traditions, with the colonists holding a shared loyalty to England itself. Finally, because of the distances separating the Americas and Europe, all of the colonies tended to have a great deal of practical autonomy—self government is a repeating theme in the colonial era. All this being said, there were significant differences between them too.

The southern colonies featured the cash crop economy, and also the entrenchment of slavery. It was also in the South that you see the rise of a planter elite. The New England colonies, by contrast, had a very strong religious impetus behind it. New England was originally colonized and dominated by the puritans. Disagreeing with the church of England, the English Puritans set out to create their own society, according to their own religious strictures. This context was something very specific to New England. Finally, the middle colonies had a particularly diverse population, both in terms of ethnicity and religious background.

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The thirteen colonies differed from each other from their inception. The first colony at Jamestown was run by the Virginia Company. Maryland and the two Carolina colonies were proprietary, under the control of individuals.

Religion was an important factor behind the creation of many colonies. In New England, both the Plymouth colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony were established by Protestants. Maryland, on the other hand, was set up as a haven for Catholics. Other colonies-such as Pennsylvania and New Netherlands-were open to members of various faiths.

Agriculture developed in different ways in the thirteen colonies. The South had huge plantations worked by slave labor, and cotton was a key crop. New England and the middle colonies had family farms and a diversified economy. Fishing was an important industry for New England. The middle colonies used rivers to conduct a lucrative fur trade with the Indians.

The colonies were similar in some respects, too. In both the North and the South, large cities grew on the coast. These cities engaged in important commerce abroad. Also, after the Swedes and Dutch were ejected from North America, all the colonies had the same master: England. English was the predominant language in all the colonies. As the colonies became more prosperous, populous, and assertive, their differences with England grew.

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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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