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Submitted By tennis511
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As Americans started to spread throughout the Atlantic coast during the 17th and 18th centuries, geography greatly influenced the economic development and overall success of the colonies that began to form. The Atlantic Ocean connected the colonial world to the old world, which helped colonists obtain goods like tea, steel, and manufactured products. When England creates its first permanent colonies in North America, an essential difference arose between the southern colonies, whose economy was dedicated to production of staple crops, and the more diverse economies of the northern colonies. Throughout the 1600s and 1700s, the New England colonies and the southern colonies in America were significantly impacted by their environment and surrounding natural resources, which is a primary factor of growth for lifestyle and production.
The England colonies up in the north had a colder climate than the other two regions of America and greatly benefited because the weather prevented the spread of life threatening diseases. This climate had some drawbacks however. A negative aspect was that there were many harsh winters, which was horrible to early settlements and killed a lot of people. This cold climate also didn’t allow many cash crops to be grown. Many Puritans lived in Plymouth in 1620. They wanted religious freedom from England, did not tolerate other religions, and went to set up their first settlement. Their first years were terrible with lots of starvation and diseases killed many people. The infant colony grew slowly and soon produced corn and fur from nearby trade. The natural resources were much more important than agricultural crops to colonists in New England because of poor, rocky soil and the short growing season. The farming conditions were also poor and northern colonists were forced to develop other means of economic security. Therefore, the northern colonies’ economies did not rely much on exporting crops and but the harbors helped the economy by providing opportunities related to shipbuilding, small manufacturing, and fishing. Many cities were important finishing centers and ports of trade that with the idea of mercantilism, England had used the colonies to make manufactured good from collected from their ports.
However, way down in the southern colonies, the main goal was not religious affiliation but to turn over a quick profit. They had a very good environment for farming unlike the northern colonies and their most beneficial staple crop was tobacco. By growing more and more tobacco crops, colonists began making lots of money from trade, which made their economy prosper. There was religious freedom in the south but tobacco still ran the economy. Before tobacco saved the colonists, many were dying of starvation. Also the warn weather had a negative impact because diseases such as yellow fever and malaria were carried throughout the air and also killed a lot of people. Since the south colonies could support to grow many crops from grow soil, most of that was done the African slaves. The geography of the southern colonies had a broad, coastal plain that was hilly and covered with forests. The natural resources of the Southern Colonies included rich farmland, forests, and fish. There were many nearby rivers, which also helped with trading. While the north colonies imported agricultural products, the southern colonies exported their agricultural products.
Geography affected every aspect of life in the colonies. It decided what job you had, what food you ate, how you ended up living. It decided if you would be rich or poor, educated or uneducated, and it decided if you lived in the country or a city. Geography caused some colonies to become centers of trade, and others to output huge amounts of crops. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the north and south colonies in America, although different, had needed the environment and geography to help them grow in production and better economic control. Geography controlled every detail of the colonies, as well as the rest of the world, and still does to this day. \][

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