Life in the 13
Colonies
1620-1763
I. Breadbasket Colonies
A. Advantages
1. rich soil, mild climate, long growing
season
2. long deep rivers – easy transportation to
sea
B. Crops for Sale
1. produced more meat and grains than
needed
2. cash crops – crops grown to be sold
a. exported to other colonies, Europe,
and West Indies
b. also exported beef and pork
3. known as “breadbasket colonies” for
producing so much grain
C. Taking Farm Goods to Market
1. shipped grain from Philadelphia and
New York City
2. used the Delaware, Hudson, and
Susquehanna Rivers for transport
3. West Pennsylvania Dutch developed
Conestoga wagon. WHY?
4. Similar to wagons used to travel west
“In the months of September and
October, it is no uncommon thing, on
the Lancaster and Reading roads, to
meet in one day from fifty to one
hundred of these wagons….”
20 ft.
D. New York Farms
1. run by Dutch patroon system
2. 5 wealthy families
3. Van Rensselaer family manor –
nearly 2 million acres
4. tenants paid rent to patroon
5. attempts to rebel failed
II. Business, Trade, and Cities
A. Other businesses
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Millers ground grain
people worked on or built ships
merchants
spun thread, wove linen, knit wool at
home
ironmakers, tailors, glassblowers,
silversmiths
small shops selling hats, books, and tea
from England
general stores
sawmills
brickmakers – bricks for houses and
roads
B. Cities Grow Quickly
1. mid-1700s Philadelphia and New
York largest cities
2. Philadelphia
a. 23,000 people in 1760
b. bigger than most cities in Great
Britain
3. Baltimore major port city
4. Many cultures = many languages
and building styles
5. Dutch House
III. A Different Kind of Community
A. Middle Colonies settled by:
1.
2.
3.
4.
original Dutch and Swedish
Germans
French
British Isles (Scotch-Irish, Welsh,
Scottish)
B. Many Religions
1.
2.
3.
4.
no dominant religion
mostly Protestant
Amish and Mennonites
Quakers
C. Country Customs and Fun
1. immigrants worked together
a. clear land
b. barn raising
c. sheepshearing, cornhusking,
butchering
2. Fun
a. footraces and jumping contests
b. women spun together or made quilts
IV. Education and Training
A. No public schools
1. private tutors
2. church or private schools
3. charity schools for poor
B. Apprenticeships
1. 12 & 13 year olds
2. work for several years with a
master
3. master required to provide food,
clothing, and board.
4. sometime provided religious
instruction, reading, and writing
V. The Frontier
A. No public schools
1. private tutors
2. church or private schools
3. charity schools for poor
B. Apprenticeships
1. 12 & 13 year olds
2. work for several years with a
master
3. master required to provide food,
clothing, and board.
4. sometime provided religious
instruction, reading, and writing
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