Similarities Between New England, Southern And Middle Colonies

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In the beginning, no indigenous governing power existed in the English colonies, so atomistic competition for colonial dominance manifested. James Henretta argues in his essay Wealth, Authority, and Power that the New England, Southern, and Middle colonies all followed the same pattern of people achieving economic wealth, using the wealth to get political power, and then using this power to assert their authority over the people; however, the regions varied on every step of the process. Despite economic diversity in New England communities, the wealthiest people were the ones who homogenized the body politic and preserved stability. A staggering slave population in the South created huge economic gaps and allowed a group of rich families to …show more content…
Different from New England, the Middle colonies lacked a strict, perfectionistic, religious foundation. The Quakers who settled in this region instead preached equality and toleration. Like the New England colonies, though, the Middle colonies had a more diverse economy than that of the South, with myriad job opportunities and a large middle class. As a result, the ambitious lower classes could actually imagine themselves moving up the social ladder. Therefore, the same competition for political control emerged in the Middle colonies as it did in New England. A ubiquitous drive for excellence united the community and expanded its economy. Although competition existed, the successful, long-time residents who had achieved economic success were the ones who eventually gained political authority. Factional families made up “the glimmerings of an established oligarchy” (Henretta 13). To deal with the region’s heterogeneity and tolerant ideals, the political elite created social stability by “accommodating their laws, political systems, and personal mental outlooks” (Henretta 15). A compromising political system successfully upheld stability. Those who succeeded in the Middle colonies’ competitive, market economy were the ones who controlled politics and then used their power to establish a tolerant social

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