The colonial history America can be traced back to the beginning of the European settlement and particularly the history of thirteen British colonies until America got its independence in 1776. During late 16th century, Netherlands, Spain, France, and England embarked on major colonization initiatives in the eastern part of North America, which resulted into four main colonization regions: The Carolinas and Georgia, Chesapeake Bay colonies (both upper and lower south), Middle colonies and New England (McNeese 102). This paper discusses the differences between European immigrants who were attracted to Georgia and the Carolinas, and the Middle Colonies and Chesapeake.
Chesapeake and Middle Colonies
The economies of the Chesapeake colonies were mostly dependent on the rich fisheries and plantations of the Bay and the docking ships. Other significant economic contributors included cash crop tobacco, the Bay’s natural resources, and its utility as a port and a shipping lane. The survival of the colony largely depended on the flourishing of the cash crop tobacco. With regard to administrative structures, there was power sharing between the royally appointed governor and the colonial assembly. In addition, the county courts exercised government’s power. Since the Chesapeake colonies were mainly cash crop producers, the plantations relied significantly on trade with England (McNeese 78).
The Middle Colonies constituted of the 13 colonies found in North America. They attained their independence from Britain during the American Revolution. An outstanding characteristic of the middle colonies is that they had rich soil, which resulted in the region becoming a key exporter in grains, particularly wheat. In addition, the shipbuilding and lumber industries were dominant in the Middle Colonies, with modest success in iron and textile industries being reported in Pennsylvania (Doyle 145). In addition, the Middle Colonies had the highest degree of diversity in terms of ethnicity as compared to other British colonies in North America. Apart from ethnic diversity, religious freedom resulted in religious diversity from the predominant Catholicism. In terms of administrative structure, elected Colonial Assemblies and Royal Governors were in charge of running the colonies. Most of the constitutions in the Middle Colonies allowed religious freedom and banned taxation.
Georgia and Carolinas
Most of the British Colonies in South America enjoyed a damp and warm climate, which implied that growing crops was relatively easy. As a result, agriculture was the main economic activity in southern colonies with Georgia growing cotton and the Carolinas growing rice and indigo. In this regard, it can be argued that the Carolinas and Georgia colonies were mainly agricultural contrary to the Northern colonies, which were both industrial and agricultural. With regard to administrative structures, the Southern colonies were restrictive and feudal, which was a hindrance to social and economic development (Doyle 125).
Fundamental Differences Observed
From the above, the differences between Georgia and Carolinas colonies and Chesapeake and Middle colonies emerge on four basic aspects: religion, economy, trade, and social structure. With regard to religious differences, Chesapeake and Middle Colonies were characterized by more religious freedom than Georgia and the Carolinas colonies. For instance, in the Middle Colonies, there was no single religion or church that was dominant in the region. With regard to economic differences, it is a fact that resources and land were two vital factors for Georgia and Carolinas as well as Chesapeake and Middle Colonies. Both these colonies had the suitable soil for cash crop farming; Chesapeake and Middle colonies focused on tobacco and rice respectively whereas the Carolinas and Georgia focused on rice (Doyle 100). With regard to social structures, in Southern colonies, including Georgia and the Carolinas, the society was mostly agrarian characterized by the lack of close-knit communities despite the significance of the family. On the other hand, people in Middle Colonies, were mostly merchants, craftsmen, and farmers, which resulted in a close-knit society that was similar to the New England colonies.