The Southern Colonies

Start Free Trial

Who settled in the Southern colonies?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Southern colonies are considered to be Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Virginia was the first permanent colony, established in 1607. King Charles gave Maryland to a Catholic man, who established it as a refuge for Catholics. This was achieved by means of the Toleration Act (passed in 1649). In 1663, King Charles II established the Carolinas primarily to keep the French and Spanish out of the territory. South Carolina had good farmland and harbors. The Carolina territory were divided into North and South Carolina in 1712, owing to the vastly different populations that had developed (with a large, aristocratic, slave-owning population in the south and working-class descendants of indentured servants in the north). Finally, Georgia was given to James Oglethorpe by King Charles II as a refuge for English debtors, who (in the early stages of the colony’s history) were held to strict standards of living.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team