The New England Colonies were a group of Puritans lead by John Winthrop who settled in Massachusetts and wanted religious reform. Off the first group lead by John Winthrop came along Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The New England colony constantly took over native American lands and, as a result, much fighting took place between the Indians and the settlers of the region. The Puritans believed that people should worship and tend local matters as a community which resulted in a tightly knit of towns and villages. The Puritans took religion very seriously. Sabbath was very strict, and church was divided between genders. There were many town meetings which lead to the growth of democratic ideas in New England. They were the most concerned about education. They set up the first public schools and towns of 100 families or more had to set up a grammar school to prepare boys for college. New England was the only group of colonies that set up dame schools, or private schools run by women in their own homes for girls.
The Puritans, even with the difficult land, built a thriving way of life. They learned to grow Indian corn, pumpkins, squash, and beans. They hunted wild turkey and deer and let hogs roam free in the woods. They also collected sap from maple trees as well as cut down trees, floating them to sawmills near ports to become major shipbuilding centers. Some of the New Englanders also fished, hunting cod, halibut, shellfish, oysters, lobsters, and whales.
The Middle Colonies were a very diverse area with many races and religions. It was located between The New England Colonies and The Southern Colonies. Farmers had more favorable conditions in the Middle Colonies than in New England. With milder winters, longer growing seasons, and the Hudson and Delaware river valleys, the Middle Colonies produced surpluses of wheat, barley, and rye. The Middle Colony farmers also raised herds of cattle and pigs. Farms were larger in the Middle Colonies than in New England. Because houses were usually farther apart from each other, towns were less important, instead, counties became centers of local government. To farm the backcountry, the area of land along the eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, settlers had to clear thick forests. They made many appliances in their daily life from wood and hunted wild animals for food. Because they were pushing into Indian Territory, very often violence broke out. In the Middle Colonies, charges and individual families set up private schools and as a result, only wealthy families could send their children to school.
The Southern Colonies, divided with the Middle Colonies by the Mason-Dixon Line, developed a way of life very different from the other English colonies. Even in the Southern Colonies, two distinct ways of life developed. The Tidewater plantations, located along the Atlantic coast, enjoyed warmer weather and a much longer growing season. Virginia, Maryland, and parts of North...