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Comparing Colonies

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The colonies of New England, New France, and New Spain possessed many different traits, leading to their individual progress and chances of success. Each colony relied on unique economies, different territorial and geographical standpoints, and social factors that played a key role in their communities.

The New England colonies relied on imports from England, alongside crops and materials that were native to the American regions. In the southern colonies of New England, tobacco was a major export and was a monumental figure in the economy. Slavery was also introduced into mainly the southern colonies, providing the Americans with servants that they weren't required to pay. In some of the Middle Colonies, such as New York, fish was a major export and source of nutrition. Most New England colonies were located near the sea, providing them with a port to send and receive goods from England. Religion was a constantly changing matter in New England colonies. Many branches of Christianity were represented in the colonies, leading to certain colonies--such as Plymouth--that broke away from England to have freedom to worship.

The territory of New Spain was vast, entailing much of Canada, all of present-day Mexico and Central America (except Panama), most of the United States west of the Mississippi River, and Florida. The capital was in Mexico City, which they captured from the Aztec empire. New Spain faced debt from the Conquistadors and their companies, which led to New Spanish governors to award their men grants of native tribute and labor, known as encomiendas. Upper class members of New Spain lived off the work of the lower classes, encouraged by the silver mines that boosted wealth. Slavery was common in New Spain, leading to the enslavement of first Native Americans, and later, black Africans. The members of New Spain attempted to convert their slaves into Catholicism. Even though some natives became slaves to the New Spain residents, some members of society began to reproduce with the indigenous women, creating a new race called Mestizo.

The reign of New France wasn't very aggressive or demanding, leading to years of France being kicked out of territories by Spain. France wasn't power-hungry or obsessed with land like Spain, so the lack of colonies did not really concern those on the throne. Eventually, France acquired territories near the Rocky Mountains, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, and parts of Canada. The land was divided into five colonies lead by its own administration: Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Louisiana. The main form of income for citizens of New France was through fur trading. Good terms with the Native Americans were required in order for New France to succeed economically. In lower Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, the economy was based on slave-run plantations. New Orleans proved to be the economic capital of Louisiana. The religion of New France was Catholicism,



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