- Society and religion in the New England colonies
- Politics and native relations in the New England colonies
- Puritan New England: Plymouth
- Puritan New England: Massachusetts Bay
- The Middle colonies
- Lesson summary: New England and Middle colonies
- The Navigation Acts
- The Enlightenment
- The Great Awakening
- The consumer revolution
- Developing an American colonial identity
- Colonial North America
Summary of key people, events, and concepts in the early New England and Middle colonies.
After the first permanent English colony was settled in 1607, English colonists soon populated the entire eastern seaboard of the present-day United States. All had different reasons for sailing across the Atlantic, leading to several distinct colonies.
|Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639)||A document that established a representative government in Connecticut, featuring a legislature elected by a popular vote and a governor elected by the legislature.|
|Halfway Covenant||A religious compromise that allowed colonists in New England to become partial church members even if they had not had a religious conversion experience.|
|Anne Hutchinson||Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her belief that salvation was based on faith, not good deeds. Hutchinson and her followers founded the colony of Portsmouth in 1638. Portsmouth and Providence joined to become Rhode Island in 1663.|
|Metacom’s War (1675-1676)||Also known as King Philip's War. A military conflict in which the Wampanoag and Narragansett tribes of southern New England joined together to fight against English colonists’ westward expansion. Thousands were killed on both sides before the English forces won the war, effectively ending most Native American resistance in New England.|
|Navigation Acts||A series of acts passed between 1650 and 1673 that established three rules of colonial trade: first, trade must be carried out only on English ships; second, all goods imported into the colonies had to pass through ports in England; and third, specific goods, such as tobacco, could be exported only to England.|
|William Penn||Founded the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 as a safe haven for Quakers.|
|Proprietary colony||Colonies that were under the authority of individuals that had been granted charters of ownership, like Maryland and Pennsylvania.|
|Puritans||A group of Protestants who wanted to purify the Church of England. Some Puritans escaped religious persecution in England by moving to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.|
|Quakers||A religious group that believed in nonviolence, gender equality, and resistance to military service. Many Quakers inhabited the colony of Pennsylvania.|
|Roger Williams||Founded the colony of Providence in 1636, after being pushed out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for criticizing Puritanism. Providence became part of the colony of Rhode Island in 1663.|
|Separatists / Pilgrims||A group of Puritans who wanted to separate completely from the Church of England (rather than reform it).|
|John Winthrop||An English Puritan lawyer who was one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony.|
Regions of English colonies
Map of the eastern seaboard, showing New England colonies (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut), Middle colonies (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware), Chesapeake colonies (Virginia, Maryland), and Southern colonies (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia).
Timeline of key events
|1620||Pilgrims (Separatists) sail to Plymouth aboard the Mayflower|
|1630||Puritans found Massachusetts Bay colony|
|1636||Roger Williams founds Rhode Island colony|
|1681||William Penn founds Pennsylvania colony|
Core historical themes
Motivations for colonization: English colonies popped up along the eastern seaboard for a variety of reasons. The New England colonies were founded to escape religious persecution in England. The Middle colonies, like Delaware, New York, and New Jersey, were founded as trade centers, while Pennsylvania was founded as a safe haven for Quakers. The Middle colonies were also called the “Breadbasket colonies” because of their fertile soil, ideal for farming.
Demographics in the colonies: The New England colonies attracted Puritan settlers with families and not single indentured servants, unlike the Chesapeake colonies. The Middle colonies attracted a diverse group of European migrants, including Germans, Scots-Irish, French, and Swedish families, along with English migrants.
Economics in the colonies: Colonial economies developed based on each colony’s environment. The New England colonies had rocky soil, which was not suited to plantation farming, so the New England colonies depended on fishing, lumbering, and subsistence farming. The Middle colonies also featured mixed economies, including farming and merchant shipping.
Establishing representative governments: While on the Mayflower, the Pilgrims drafted a simple constitution called the Mayflower Compact, which established an early form of self-government. It allowed all male members of the Puritan church the right to participate in elections for the governor, his assistants, and a representative assembly. Taking into account that the English colonies were still under the British crown, creating the Mayflower Compact was unusually democratic for the time.
Interactions with Native Americans: Unlike the Spanish, French, and Dutch colonizers, the English colonizers rarely married Native Americans. Unwilling to integrate Native Americans into their society, English colonizers had several armed conflicts with Native Americans who were angry about English encroachment on native land, such as Metacom’s War (King Philip’s War) in 1675.
- What were the main motivations for the colonization of the New England colonies and the Middle colonies?
- How does the environment of both the New England and Middle colonies affect their economies?
- How did English interactions with Native Americans compare to how the Spanish interacted with Native Americans?
Want to join the conversation?
- How long did the French and Indian war last(12 votes)
- ~What were the motivations for the Chesapeake Colonies to be founded?
~(and where can I find more Khan Academy material concerning the Chesapeake Colonies in this time?)
~Thank you!(7 votes)
- ~The motivations were 'God, gold, and glory', meaning they wanted to convert to christianity, get super rich, and to get famous for founding and discovering a new place.
~This link should help you:
~Hope this helps!(1 vote)
- how did the middle colonies deal with illnesses(1 vote)
- Here's a link to a very good article about it : https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/medicine-colonial-era/ . Before I found this one (from Philadelphia) I found another, from Boston. It was even better, but not about your question.(5 votes)
- Why were there indentured servants?(2 votes)
- Indentured servants came because the ever growing colonies desperately needed cheap labor. The Virginia company came up with a solution for that. Before this, people who would immigrate to Virginia and to other colonies were usually either rich people or people fleeing from religious persecution. An indentured servant was a person that immigrated to the colonies for a better life for free because someone sponsored them. In return the indentured servant would work for a certain number of years on the colony to pay back the money. They usually worked on the field and tended crops. This system worked well for sometime. However after Bacon's Rebellion, in which many servants rebelled against their overlords, many people didn't trust indentured servants. As a result, the colonies began to import enslaved Africans to work there for life with no pay. Laws were passed making it easier to get Africans to work on the fields than indentured servants. This is a reason why indentured servitude faded away. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution officially made indentured servitude illegal.(3 votes)
- Why did french and the indians go to war?(2 votes)
- It was not actually a war between the French and the Natives, it was a battle between British and French colonies. Both side was supported by their own Indian allies and the war was actually a part of the larger Seven Years' War.(3 votes)
- What was William Penn’s main purpose for founding the colony of Pennsylvania?(2 votes)
- William Penn converted to Quakerism in his life and felt that the Quakers needed a haven from the persecution they faced in England. So, he established Pennsylvania as a place where Quakers could emigrate to and practice their beliefs in peace.(2 votes)
- who settled in the new england colonies and why(3 votes)
- Your "who" question is answered in the paragraph on demographics, and your "why" question in the paragraph on motivations. I recommend that you re-read them.(0 votes)
- what were the problems with diversity(1 vote)
- 1) Some people did not want diversity. They wanted people unlike themselves to be pushed away or eliminated.
2) Some people didn't like different opinions existing in "their" space.
3) In diversity there were different opinions, not everyone agreed on everything, and that's a problem for some people, even in the 21st century.(3 votes)
- When did the english first come to america(1 vote)
- In 1497, King Henry VII of England dispatched an expedition led by John Cabot to explore the coast of North America, but the lack of precious metals or other riches discouraged both the Spanish and English from permanently settling in North America during the early 16th century.(3 votes)
- why is maryland part of the Chesapeake colonies? why does this map show maryland is in the chesapeake colonies instead of the southern colonies(1 vote)