Comparing the North American colonies

Essay by Preci28University, Bachelor's October 2004

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Downloaded 201 times

Significant differences in religion, land tenure, relations with natives, political organization, as well as social organization distinguished the colonial experience of the colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The regions varied greatly in their practice of religion. "In the New England colonies the State Church had a powerful hold on the people like no other in America." (Elson). In the southern colonies the colonists followed the law of the Church of England. The pulse of religion did not pound with the same beat as in New England nor did the southern religious class ever acquire the prestige and power that quickly won it dominance in the puritan colonies of the north. Another feature of the south is few towns and almost no manufacturing." (18th Century America). One of the main differences between the colonies, is that while religious freedom did not exist in the New England colonies, the middle colonies had no single church or religion.

In the middle colonies a stage was set for the western world's most complex experience of religious pluralism. (Bonomi.) "In the middle colonies an institution emerged, the voluntary church. This church was free from compulsory taxes as well as the legal scaffolding. Instead its members were allowed to choose to belong." (Bonomi). Unlike the other regions, the middle colonies have a wide array of settlers from Dutch Mennonites, to Quakers, Jews, Lutherans, and Anglicans. By mixing these religious beliefs along with African American traditions and native religions, a mosaic of culture, religion, and tradition helped to form the middle colonies.

Land tenure among the colonies differed significantly as well. In the south large amounts of land were settled on upon the wealthy and plantations were set-up. "The system of headright, giving fifty acres of land to anyone who paid his way to...