In the 1600’s and 1700’s, the economies of the northern and southern colonies were affected due to many different factors. Because of the different climates and geography of their land, the northern colonies and southern colonies had different resources available to them, which shaped their societies into what they are today. The resources available to the northern colonies were completely different from the resources that were available to the southern colonies.
In the northern colonies, due to the climate and geography of their land, crop growth wasn’t as successful as it was in the south. The could weather and rocky land made it hard for them so as time went on, the northern colonies became more of an industrial people and relied more on manufacturing things like naval equipment and rum. A few of the northern colonies participated in what they called a triangular trade system where New England traded rum for slaves from Africa and then these slaves were given to the west indies in exchange for sugar and molasses, which was made into rum again.
The northern colonies heavily relied on this system and it was this that brought New England success. In the south, the climate was mainly warm and perfect for crop growth so the southern colonies became more agricultural. The main reason the south had such great success in the area of crop growth was because they discovered a great cash crop called tobacco. Due to it’s addictive nature and great taste, the demand for it was very high. The south purchased tons of slaves because farmers relied on slavery to help the success of their farms and crops. They were different from the northern colonies in this way because the north rarely used slaves.
They merely transported them. Education was strongly affected by the geography and climate also, believe it or not. The North was cold and hard to grow crops in so they were more industrial based. This meant that all of the people needed to know how to read and write in order to make deals with the other nations. In the northern colonies, there were very few public schools. Therefore, the parents of children usually just hired a tutor until they went off to a university. If the family couldn’t afford a tutor, then they either sent the child to a public school, or didn’t educate them at all. In the south, the climate and geography was perfect for growing crops. Therefore most people lived on large farms called plantations.
There was less emphasis on education in the south because most of the people were slaves or indentured servants. Also, even many of the landowners didn’t know how to read or write because not much is needed to know in order to farm and they didn’t have to worry about trading overseas. They left that to the north.
Ultimately, the geography and climate of the northern and southern colonies was the main factor that shaped the societies into what they are today. For instance, the north had horrible luck in climate for crop growth, which made them more of an industrial group of settlers. The south thrived on crop growth, which made them more of an agricultural group of settlers.