American History – Life in Thirteen Colonies


  Their main occupation of all people in colonies is farming. In south, big farmers invested in the supply of slaves. They produced tobacco, indigo or rice   crops which they sold to England and to continental countries. In return for this they get back finer manufactured goods, silverware, linen, and musical instruments even some of his furniture and clothes. Life of planters became more happy and rich. Though the number of poor farmers outnumbered planters they led a good life. The government was controlled by the poor white and Negro, they set a standard life. The colonial partners invested more money in his laborer’s and in his land. Since the land price was cheap they didn’t care of taking care of the fertility of the soil. Thus Negros who where the backbone of plantation system played important in conquering the wilderness.


The south raised other crops such as wheat and barley, tar, turpentine, resin, and lumbar. New England’s economy was varied. They got profit from sea and land. The long winter and rocky soil made farming tough. The settlers grew corn, pumpkin, squash, turnip, wheat, oats, and rice. All these didn’t have more development for the colony people. New Englander’s because of the benefit of having harbors and thick forest, also big ships. Thus they became the major supplier of sea cod, mackerel, herring and whales. The ship also carried molasses from West Indies. And Rum from Africa. The farms of New York and Pennsylvanian were more fertile than England. Thus they were called as “Bread colonies” south were good in hunting and they did fur selling with Indians. Thus they also started iron production in New Jersey. They invested many money. New York and Philadelphia became leading commercial ports.


The farmers’ thought the colonies and almost everybody engaged in activities other than farming. Manufactured goods were kept in the farmer’s house during winter. In north where there was no plantations and lesser small-scale manufacturing to a lesser degree was the work of farmers’ family. Even professional men, such as doctors, lawyers or ministers found it profitable and make some articles which they used. Economic life in the colonies was hard. Only in the Southern Colonies among the plantation owners and among landed-gentry in the middle colony, did the conviction grow that it was undignified to work.


           There arose class difference between poor and rich. The maintenance of large estates in the south ands in the other colonies. The patronages of New York created proud and wealthy class of landed aristocrats. The England had the practice of primogeniture (the eldest son inherited all of the landed property). Tis didn’t exist in New England or Pennsylvanian. But New England had different type of class distinction particularly in Massachusetts, the clergy had organized a theocracy (rule by clergy) that was to continue power until 18th century. One could not vote until he is the member of puritan church. But it didn’t happen at Little Plymouth. It was because of the leadership of William Bradford. Rhode Island escaped the tyranny of religious class-rule under the rule of Roger Williams. It become an independent colony, based on religious freedom.

Influence of the wilderness

      Along with Roger Williams and William Bradford another guy participated named Thomas Hooker who moved that one must have greater sat in government and a chance of making belter life. Mrs. Anne Hutchison also agreed with thee views and said that true religion comes from within the person not rather imposed from without. Also may people fled to west because they were fed up with their life in colony. They can also called as the opponent of the class system. They developed a self-government which was more democratic than that of their mother colony. It also showed a warning to power back house because of dwindling labors. Thus Williames, Bradfords, Hookers, and Hutchionsons- helped to corner-stones of American democracy.


    COLONIAL SCHOOLS:  In 1847 the Massachusetts passed the first general school law in America. This law required the town government to provide elementary education for children. Its primary aim was to instruct youth with “loyalty to the local government, entente of clergy and gentktmen”.the also made 100 families to open a grammar school. Similar laws was passed by Connecticut (1650) Plymouth (1671) and New Hampshire (1689).there was also private schools in colony maintained by churches bit they were attended only by well-to-do. Woman didn’t have any education. Their lifestyle was entirely designed for household works.

Higher Education:   Opportunities for college education was provided. By 1770 most of the colony could host a college. Still but Pennsylvanian and Dartmouth was founded by religious dominance. The chief aim of college was to train students to ministry. By mid of 18th century law and medicine became a respectful job. The college education was not shut within the four walls many developed by self learning . Example was BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

Books and Newspapers: In colonies only the professional class had books at their house. Others might use Bible and almanac, a free pubic library first appeared in Charleston (1698) and a private circulating library in Philadelphia (1731). Weekly newspapers were printed in large towns. By the year 1750 37 newspapers were in circulation. There was a strict censorship of the pre4ss and publishers were fined often or imprisoned for circulating the government.

JOHN PETER ZENGER: A New York printer who was arrested for criticizing the government but was upheld by jury.the acquittal was opposite to England. As a result of this freedom of the press a principal Bthat Vlater incorporated in the states and federal constitutions of the USA was established in 1753.

ADVANCE IN SCIENCE: the renaissance and the scientific revolution in Europe during 1500-1800 had a little effect on America. There was an awakening in the mid of 18 th century. Franklin’s “AMERICAN PHILOSPHICAL SOCIETY”, from kits headquarters in Philadelphia. His experiments in the field of electricity. His important was finding the method of making soil more productive. The scientist of this period focused in practical application of science than with its theory.

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE: .They used medicine obtained by horrible mixture of mice, snail. Many patient loosed there life because of bloodletting and ignorance of started to grow by the end of 18th century. American students went to Edinburgh and London to complete education. Dr. Zabdiel Boyoston of Boston did outstanding work by conducting experiments for eradicating smallpox.

RECREATION IN RURAL COMMUNTIES:  Chatting while sewing quilts, “spinning yarn” by men who have gathered in the stores, the barn dance, love making while gathering corn where some recreational actives church besides being the center of worship was center for social activities. Weddings are some social occasions.

MORE LEISURE IN THE SOUTH: Life, because of warmer climate had to be less afternoons in the south. Leisure activities were different. Theatre were made in south. Racing and hunting is usual. Recreational in colonial days were self-made. These all led to development of sturdy self-reliance. The quality alone played role in making of self-government.