The Southern Colonies

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What were the key landforms in the Southern Colonies?

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The two most important landforms in the southern colonies were the marshes and low-lying flood areas in the low country of the Carolinas and the rolling hills of the Piedmont that ran from Georgia into Pennsylvania. The former was suited to the cultivation of rice, which became the foundation of the economy of Georgia and South Carolina in particular. This in turn enabled the deep southern colonies to supply the sugar islands of Barbados and others in the Caribbean with food, and it encouraged planters to import enslaved labor. What resulted was a society where very wealthy planters possessed enormous holdings in land and enslaved people. In the Piedmont, on the other hand, the landscape was suitable for the production of grains and livestock, which were less labor-intensive than rice. While tobacco was also grown in the Piedmont, slavery was far less extensive in the region, and small landholders prevailed, thought some large plantations (especially tobacco) existed.

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