Southern Colonies

This video gives an introduction to the Southern Colonies. The Southern Colonies were Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Virginia was the first permanent English colony of the Southern Colonies. Georgia was the last one to be established out of England’s Southern Colonies. They were very successful due to a warm climate, rich soil, and long growing season. These conditions promoted an agricultural based economy in the South. They grew rice, indigo, and tobacco. Most of the labor was supplied through indentured servants and African Slaves. The first African Slaves were brought into Virginia in 1619.


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Southern Colonies


The southern colonies were Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These were all colonies claimed by England, later called Great Britain. They claimed these colonies whenever they were first trying to race to put colonies in North America, so they could have more colonial power than any of the other European powers, such as Spain or France.


These five colonies developed on their own and were able to become very powerful, very well-functioning colonies on their own. Since they grew, they kind of stuck around, where some of the other colonies fizzled out.


These were the colonies known as the southern colonies, because they were towards the southern end of England’s colonial power of the southern colonies. Virginia was the first permanent settlement, or the first permanent English colony. Georgia was the last. Now, this is of the Southern colonies. There were middle and northern colonies as well.


Some of those may have happened in between when Virginia and Georgia were established, but out of the Southern colonies Virginia was the first permanent colony (the oldest one) in Georgia would be the newest or youngest colony.


Now, some of the reasons that they were able to grow and become very important well-functioning communities on their own was because of their location. The warm climate, rich soil, and long growing season all led to a large agricultural economy.


They were able to grow what were known as cash crops. Their cash crops included rice, indigo, and tobacco. These are crops that they were growing primarily to sell for cash to make a profit on. The rice was very useful. They could use that, but no one needed indigo or tobacco.


Those were things that were just nice. Having indigo to dye things, it just made your clothes or blankets pretty. It wasn’t something that was needed. Tobacco was something that people could do as a leisurely activity. It wasn’t something that you needed.


The rice, people would actually eat that and use it and maybe need that as a form of sustenance. The rest of it wasn’t so much. These were crops they grew a lot of planning to sell most of it because they were cash crops and not the crops that they needed to be able to eat.


Most land was controlled by wealthy plantation owners and farmers. These plantation owners grew these cash crops and grew wealthy. Farmers maybe didn’t have a whole plantation, but if they had a little farm of their own that they owned, then they could grow these cash crops and become wealthy as well and maybe develop a plantation as they grew wealthier.


Now, these plantation owners weren’t actually doing the work themselves. The land was worked mostly by indentured servants and African slaves. The first African slaves arrived in Virginia in 1619, which started a long unpleasant history of slavery in the American colonies.


The indentured servants were people who came over and maybe said, “Okay, I’ll work for you for five years on your plantation and then I’ll be free.” The plantation owner or the farmer would say, “Okay, you come over, you work on my land for five years, and then you’ll be free.


You can go do what you want to do. You can buy your own farm. You can try to save up some money, but you won’t be indentured to me anymore.” That’s what the indentured servants were. They set up an amount of time and said, “Okay, I’ll work for you for this long, and then I’ll have my freedom again.”


The African slaves were taken from Africa and forced into slavery, forced to work on these plantations. That is why it is an unpleasant history, because it was where people were just taken from their homes in another country and taken by ship to America to work in these fields. They were forced to do so.


This was starting a long history of slavery in the American colonies up through it becoming the United States of America and then through the Civil War when slavery ended. From 1619 through the Civil War, that’s when slavery started in America until when it ended.


The southern colonies were five different colonies that were established by England. They just happened to be in an area that was good for agriculture. People developed and these cities, or these colonies, grew into stable colonies and were permanent settlements instead of just colonies that fizzled out. These five colonies became known as the southern colonies.



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Last updated: 11/30/2018

 

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