Throughout the whole Colonial History of American, there were a total of 13 settlements, which the Europeans called colonies (Reich, 2011). Technically, people who live in different colonies have different lifestyles and one factor that contributed to this is each region’s geography and access to natural resources.
One of the important functions of Colonies is to provide the raw materials and other things that are needed in waging war and improving the economic and financial stability of a mother country or state. In Britain’s case for example, their American colonies are supposed to supplement Britain in their other colonization programs and expeditions. A significant part of the Americas was once a part of a European colonizer. All thirteen colonies of Britain in the American Peninsula later ended because the Americans fought for their independence for a series of wars against their European Colonizer, England.
All of those were thanks to their ally, the French forces. This paper is a compilation of facts about the difference in the lifestyle of two of the most important colonies among the thirteen British Colonies; Georgia and Massachusetts. Topics such as activities of daily living and ethnic indifferences will also be covered.
Life in the Colony of Georgia
This colony was established by a man named James Oglethorpe. He was a British, a member of the Parliament, during the 18th century. Now, there are two main reasons why the British, particularly James Oglethorpe, decided to plant a colony at this part of the peninsula (Georgia belonged to the Lower South Colonies of Britain together with Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina) (Nash, 2011). One reason is to find a place where debtors could live rather than be imprisoned.
According to old British laws, anyone who would not be able to pay their taxes or other forms of debts needs to be imprisoned. So, instead of sending those people to a prison and be a liability, they thought it would be better for them to use up their energy for something more productive and beneficial for the country, for colonial expansion.
The second reason was somewhat related with the first one. Oglethorpe planted a colony in this part of the peninsula to establish a sense of military security in the nearby region. Georgia and Florida—was under the control of the Spaniards, were proximally located. There was tension between the Spanish and the British forces back then and so the British were urged to plant a base at Georgia and populate it with debtors instead of pure and loyal citizens to establish a stronger military presence around the area.
Fortunately for the Americans who lived in Georgia, slavery was forbidden. Strict moralistic principles were always imposed in Georgia at that time, even during a time when it wasn’t that developed yet unlike the other colonies. Georgian residents were not allowed to practice vices such as drinking alcoholic beverages, excessive smoking and any other actions that could be interpreted as immoral (Reich, 2011).
What’s surprising about Georgia is the fact that it was not able to declare a religion during the time of British Colonization. This was the way how they valued morality before. However, these policies and restriction against acts of immorality and misconduct and towards morality and order was soon lifted due to several reasons. The head colonists argued that if they were to continue enforcing such strict rules and impose a puritanical lifestyle, Georgia, a colony that would have been much developed a long time ago, would not be able to compete against the other economically stable colonies of Britain.
In fact, they feared that Georgia would even be a liability. So, people began to experience big changes economically, thanks to colonial Georgia’s liberation. Residents at school ages began going to school and the economy began to flourish just like the other colonies. In the end Georgia, which was also the last colony established among the 12, grew almost exactly similar with the other colonies.
Supermarkets and town markets are not so common in Georgia since it was actually the last colony to be established among the 13, especially on its pioneering stage. People have to catch fish and whales from the sea so they could eat something. They have to plant crops on the soil and wait for them to grow until they could finally fill their granaries with fresh new crops ready to be consumed and sold. Some were indeed consumed and if there are surpluses, those will be traded with merchant ships or with other colonies.
Life in the Colony of Massachusetts
Massachusetts was one of the former British Charter Colonies located in their Northern Virginia Territory. However, after a few years, the charter was revoked due to several reasons. After seven years, Massachusetts was turned into a provincial charter. Geographically, Massachusetts was one of the New England Colonies together with Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Lifestyle in this 16th century English colony was not so easy at first although it became easier and easier as more developments were made and more infrastructures were put up. Majority of the inhabitants in this colony was the Pilgrims and they were considered the real inhabitants on that area in America. Later on, European explorers began to take lands and territories that made the indigenous tribes such as the Pilgrims upset, resulting in a frequently strained relationship between the colonists and the natives. Though there was indeed tension between the two groups, it never resulted into a widespread bloodshed (Reich, 2011).
Colonists build houses of worship so that people could practice their religion in peace. There was no formal religion established in Massachusetts since each group of people practice different religions and such religions usually depend on where they are situated. Meeting houses were the equivalents of churches for the inhabitants of Massachusetts. This is where they meet for worship and church services and is located at the center of a town or city. Back then, church service could last for most of the day.
Education in Massachusetts was another unique matter. Most of children’s parents in Massachusetts believe in Christianity and in fact, one primary reason why they send their sons and daughters to school is to learn more about Christianity. Children first learn to read on a bible. If they can already read the chapters of the bible nicely, then that’s the time they could read other sources of knowledge such as school books. Other subjects other than religion such as Latin and Math were also taught to students in Massachusetts. Farming is one the major sources of income of the inhabitants since 16th or even the 17th century was a time still quite far from industrialization (Nash, 2011).
Parents involved themselves in the major industries of most of the 13 colonies which were fishing, planting corn, raising livestock, and carpentry. These jobs are these people’s major source of income. If adults will not work, they will surely starve since that was a time when food, no matter how abundant was not given free unless an individual becomes a slave and start serving the person who feeds him. Shipbuilding was also a flourishing industry during that time. Britain was known for its military and naval prowess which lasted up to the age of industrialization and even World War I. Well, it would be logical to think that their 13 colonies in the Americas contributed a lot for them to receive that title.
Sources of food for inhabitants include fish, whales, and wheat, corn, barley and rice crops. Theses supplies were usually sold at a common marketplace situated near the center of a town for ease of access. Sometimes, residents also engage in barter trades with merchant hips and other colonies (Nash, 2011).
Reich, J. (2011). Colonial America, Sixth Edition. Pearson Publishers. Print.
Nash, G. (2011). Red, White, and Black: The People of Early North America. Pearson Publishers. Print.