Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Internal and External Factors of English Colonies in America

It is a given that the American Colonies we have studied are very different, and this is due to the people who colonized the land, the geographical conditions, and the way the settlers interacted with the natives that already lived in the land. This means that both internal and external factors are intertwined, making each colony very different from each other, however, the external factors have a greater impact.

We have geographical positions, one of the most important external factors. For starters, the colony of Massachusetts New England is located to the north, which means the climate is the coldest from all the three colonies. These conditions didn't allow the land to grow cash crops that the colonists could base off their economy from, which is why they turned to trading and commerce as an income base.

The Middle colonies, consisting of  Pennsylvania and Maryland had a mild climate, which allowed the settlers to grow crops, but a big part of the income also consisted of trading, which makes the colony's economy more sustainable.
Lastly, we have the Southern colonies, known as Virginia and Georgia. The English men who came to this land expecting to find gold. However, when they realized there was none, the climate, being very warm, allowed to grow cash crops. Their economy consisted mainly on tobacco, and this affected the colony greatly because it was the first one to bring African slaves to work on the plantations.

Another external factor that really shaped the development of the colonies was the interaction with the Native Americans. The colony of New England was a colony composed by Puritans. They wanted to create a model society, a "city upon a hill". Because of this they weren't tolerant to other religions or races, which is why they went through many bloody conflicts with the Pequots and the Iroquois. For the Southern Colonies it was pretty violent as well, because the Virginians fought against the Powhatans for land. As for the Middle Colonies, the whole interactions with the Indians was much more peaceful. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a Quaker who was seeking religious freedom. It is because of this that he was tolerant to all religions, and he believed that the land had to be brought from the Indians, which is why both groups of inhabitants were able to coexist peacefully.

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