New England Colonies Characteristics

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The first New England colonies, which included Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, were all founded in the 17th century, beginning with the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620. All but New Hampshire were founded as havens for various religious groups, including Puritans, Separatists, and Quakers. New Hampshire, on the other hand, was distinctive because it was formed primarily for economic reasons. In 1620, the Pilgrims first came to the Plymouth Colony to establish their own religion. As Separatists, their goal was to follow the teachings of John Calvin and separate from both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Later, a similar religious group -- the Puritans -- sought refuge from the harassment they also experienced …show more content…
Most of the early settlers depended on the fur trade and on farming for economic survival. The most populous of the Middle colonies was Pennsylvania, other colonies were settled rather haphazardly over the course of the 17th century. Settlers usually organized themselves in small farms spread throughout the colony with a few cities added to the mix.

The Middle Colonies were not as cohesive as the New England colonies because colonists in this region were not united by single religion or code of beliefs.
Area dominated by larger farms than N.E., smaller than the S.; still there is an emphasis on subsistence rather than cash crops. Settlement patterns generally revolve around single family farms (around 50 -150 acres). Again you see the predominance of servant (as opposed to slave labor) in the 17th century. [A notable exception is in New York where you see a large number of African Americans in the colony, especially in New York city where blacks are employed in commercial settings and as dockworkers.]
The Middle Colonies were settled by different nationalities so there is greater emphasis on religious toleration and cultural diversity. This is especially true in the colony of New
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New Netherlands became New York. A caveat - New Yorkers weren't entirely content with James either, especially after he assumed the throne. New Jersey - traded hands several times (see Berkin text). Originally, the colony was part of the land grant given to James II by his brother Charles II. James, in turn, gave the land to 2 of his friends (Sir George Cateret & Lord John Berkley) so the land was divided into East and West Jersey. Meanwhile the governor of the colony was also giving land away (to the Puritans who'd settled on Long Island). Berkley & Cateret sold their land to the Quakers who then sold the land to speculators. The colony was finally reunited by in 1702 and became a royal colony. Again you see a real mixture of settlers - Dutch and French Protestants (Huguenots), English, Scots, Irish, etc. and hence a wide variety of religions - Quakers, Baptists, Anglicans, Calvinists, etc. co-existing in the colony. Pennsylvania - "Holy Experiment" - please refer to your text as well! Pennsylvania is another excellent example of a proprietary colony - in this case it was established by William Penn as a haven for Quakers (Society of Friends)in the New World. Quakers faced persecution in England and in New England for their religious beliefs. Their land could be confiscated and members jailed. In at least one instance Quakers were hanged for their beliefs ironically (?) by the Puritans in New England). Like Puritans, Quakers strongly emphasized a personal

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