Southern Colonies

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Map of the Southern colonies, with the proclamation line of 1763 shown in red.

The Southern Colonies within British America consisted of the Province of Maryland,[1] the Colony of Virginia, the Province of Carolina (in 1712 split into North and South Carolina) and the Province of Georgia. In 1763, the newly created colonies of East Florida and West Florida would be added to the Southern Colonies by Great Britain. These colonies would become the historical core of what would become the Southern United States, or "Dixie".

The colonies developed prosperous economies based on the cultivation of cash crops, such as tobacco,[2] indigo,[3] and rice.[4] A side effect of the cultivation of these crops was the presence of slavery in significantly higher proportions than in other parts of British America.

Georgia[edit]

The British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733.[5] The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by (and named for) King George II. The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the settlement of the colony, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. In 1742 the colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the Crown. Georgia became a Crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king.[6]

The Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. After the war, Georgia became the fourth state of the Union after ratifying the Constitution on January 2.

The warm climate and swampy lands make it perfect for growing crops such as tobacco, rice, and sugar.

Maryland[edit]

George Calvert received a charter from King Charles I to found the colony of Maryland in 1632. When George Calvert died, his son, Cecilius Calvert, later known as Lord Baltimore, became the proprietor. Calvert came from a wealthy Catholic family and was the first individual (rather than a joint-stock company) to receive a grant from the Crown. He received a grant for a large tract of land north of the Potomac river and on either side of Chesapeake Bay.[7] Calvert planned on creating a haven for English Catholics, most of which were well-to-do nobles such as himself who could not worship in public.[8] He planned on creating an agrarian manorial society where each noble would have a large manor and tenants would work in the fields and on other tasks. However, with extremely cheap land prices, many Protestants moved to Maryland and bought land for themselves. They soon became a majority of the population, and in 1642 religious tension began to erupt. Calvert was forced to take control and pass the Maryland Toleration Act in 1649, making Maryland the second colony to have freedom of worship, after Rhode Island. However, the Act did little to help religious peace. In 1654, Protestants barred Catholics from voting, ousted a pro-tolerance Governor, and repealed the Toleration Act.[9] Maryland stayed Protestant until Calvert again took control of the colony in 1658.

Virginia[edit]

The Colony of Virginia (also known frequently as the Virginia Colony or the Province of Virginia, and occasionally as the Dominion and Colony of Virginia) was an English colony in North America which existed briefly during the 16th century, and then continuously from 1607 until the American Revolution (as a British colony after 1707[10]). The name Virginia was first applied by Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I in 1584. Jamestown was the first town created by the Virginia colony. After the English Civil War in the mid 17th century, the Virginia Colony was nicknamed "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II for its perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the era of the Commonwealth of England.

While other colonies were being founded, Virginia continued to grow. Tobacco planters held the best land near the coast, so new settlers pushed inland. Sir William Berkeley, the colony's governor, sent explorers over the Blue Ridge Mountains to open up the back country of Virginia to settlement.

After independence from Great Britain in 1776, the Virginia Colony became the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the original thirteen states of the United States, adopting as its official slogan "The Old Dominion". The states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, and portions of Ohio, were all later created from the territory encompassed earlier by the Colony of Virginia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Southern Colonies". Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ Boyer, Paul S. (2004). The Enduring Vision, 5th Edition. The Enduring Vision. Houghton-Mifflin. p. 64. ISBN 0-618-28065-0. 
  3. ^ West, Jean M. "The Devil's Blue Dye and Slavery". Slavery in America. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  4. ^ Boyer, Paul S. (2004). The Enduring Vision, 5th Edition. The Enduring Vision. Houghton-Mifflin. p. 77. ISBN 0-618-28065-0. 
  5. ^ "This Day in Georgia History - February 1". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Trustee Georgia, 1732–1752". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. July 27, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ Browne, William Hand (1890). George Calvert and Cecil Calvert: Barons Baltimore of Baltimore. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.  p. 17
  8. ^ "Maryland: History, Geography, Population, and State Facts". Info please. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  9. ^ Boyer, Paul S. (2004). The Enduring Vision, 5th Edition. The Enduring Vision. Houghton-Mifflin. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-618-28065-0. 
  10. ^ The Royal Government in Virginia, 1624-1775, Volume 84, Issue 1, Percy Scott Flippin, Wallace Everett Caldwell, p. 288