Tyler Cabell AP United States History Essay “Geography was the primary factor in shaping the development of the British colonies in North America. ” I agree with this statement because geography did play an important role in the making of the British colonies. In all areas, the geography influenced the way people lived, what they ate, the types of homes they lived in, the jobs they held and the farming conditions for the better, and in some areas, for the worse.
The New England colonies, consisting of Maine, New Hampshire Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont, were settled on rocky soil, and had many forests, so it wasn’t suited for planting. Because New England was farthest north, the climate was colder than in the other colonies, which didn’t help either. As a result of this, New England’s economy did not depend on the land as much as other colonies did. Instead of making their living by farming, New Englanders were loggers, fishers and shipbuilders.
The Middle colonies, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, had better surroundings. Their land was very fertile and very much suited for farming and planting. Middle Colonies produced grains and had river systems for trade. The climate was also warm and had moderate winters. They did have indentured servants, but they did not own slaves. The Middle Colonies were nicknamed the Breadbasket Colonies because they produced the majority of the bread and wheat of all the British colonies.
They also had a good amount of iron ore in their land. The Southern colonies were made up of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Their geography was well-suited for farming, too. It was warm year-round and provided a great place to produce tobacco, cotton, indigo, rice, many other crops and a long growing season. The Southern colonies also had indentured servants and slaves and thought the whites were more entitled to opinion and rights.
Southerners thought they needed the slaves because of the immense plantations and profitable nature that farming provided for them. The Southern colonies also had a rapid population growth. It is clear that geography was the primary factor in shaping the development of the British colonies in North America. From the clothes they wore, to the houses they were living in, to the jobs they did, geography was the reason the people lived differently. It was this way in the 1600’s and it remains this way today.
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