England's first attempts at colonizing 




Jamestown, established in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London as a business venture, was the first permanent English settlement in North America.


Indenture (PS)


Some of the early Virginia settlers were “cavaliers” (i.e., English nobility who received large land grants in eastern Virginia from the King of England).


Poor English immigrants also came seeking better lives as small farmers or artisans and settling in the Shenandoah Valley or western Virginia, or as

The Starving Time and Tobacco

The Virginia House of Burgesses, established by the 1640s, was the first elected assembly in the New World. It has operated continuously and is known today as the General Assembly of Virginia.


New England

New England was settled by Puritans seeking freedom from religious persecution in Europe. They formed a “covenant community” based on the principles of the Mayflower Compact and Puritan religious beliefs and were often intolerant of those not sharing their religion. They also sought economic opportunity and practiced a form of direct democracy through town meetings.


John Winthrop


Mayflower Compact 



Key Colonial Figures

William Penn

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Roger Williams


Anne Hutchinson

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James Doe

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New England


→ The New England colonies
developed an economy based on shipbuilding, fishing,lumbering, small scale subsistence farming (Rocky Soil) , and eventually, manufacturing.


→ The colonies prospered,
reflecting the Puritans’ strong belief in the values of hard work & thrift.
(Protestant Work Ethic) .

Political Life:

→ New England colonies used town (hall) meetings
(“Athenian” direct democracy) in the operation of







Social Life:

→ New England’s colonial society was based on religious standing within the Puritan church .
→ The Puritans grew increasingly intolerant of
dissenters who challenged the Puritans’ belief in the connection between religion and government.


→ Rhode Island was the only colony granting pure freedom of religion. It was by dissenters
(Roger Williams) fleeing persecution by Puritans

Source:Mr.Gravel US History Review



→ The Middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware developed
economies based on shipbuilding, farming (Staple
Crops), and trading .Cities such as New York and
Philadelphia began to grow as seaports and/or commercial centers



Political Life:

→ Middle colonies incorporated a number of democratic principles that reflected the basic rights of Englishmen.








Social Life:

→The Middle Atlantic region was settled chiefly by English, Dutch, and German-speaking immigrants seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity

→ The middle colonies were home to multiple religious groups who generally believed in religious tolerance .


★ Quakers (PA)

★ Huguenots & Jews (NY)

★ Presbyterians

(NJ)→ These colonies had more flexible social structures and began to develop a middle class of skilled artisans, entrepreneurs(business owners), and small farmers.



→ Southern colonies developed economies in the eastern coastal lowlands based on large
plantations that grew “cash crops ” such as tobacco, rice, and indigo for export to Europe.
→ Indentured Servants &Slave labor used on the
→ Farther inland, however, in the mountains and valleys of the Appalachian foothills, the economy was based on small scale

Political Life:

→ Southern colonies maintained stronger ties with Britain, with plantation owners leading roles in representative colonial legislatures. ( Planter Aristocracy )




Social Life:

→ Virginia & Southern colonies had a social structure
based on family status and the ownership of land .

→ Large landowners in the
eastern lowlands dominated
colonial government and
society (Plantation Owners)
→ Southern Colonies maintained
an allegiance to the Church of
England and closer social ties to
Britain than did those in the other
→ Maryland: Catholics &
Act of Toleration 1849
→ In the mountains and valleys further inland, however, society was characterized by small subsistence farmers, hunters,and traders of Scots-Irish and English descent.

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