New England Colonies

New England
5.4 Students understand the political,
religious, social, and economic institutions
that evolved in the colonial era
Settling New England
• Pilgrims (people who make journeys for
religious reasons) wanted to move to the
North America to have religious freedom
and to make money.
• Pilgrims left England on the ship called the Mayflower in
1620 with a charter from the king which gave them
approval to settle in North America
• The Mayflower headed toward North America and landed
in Massachusetts, thus starting the Plymouth colony.
• Mayflower Compact – a
compact signed on the
Mayflower that created a new
idea of self-government and
majority rule.
• Plymouth colonists farmed,
fished, and traded furs.
• William Bradford was the
leader of the Pilgrims.
• Puritans wanted to leave the
Church of England (wanted to
make it PURE).
• John Winthrop led/governed the
second group of Puritans to settle in
the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They
named their settlement Boston.
• Most early settlements in the
Americas were built along the
Atlantic coast which made it easier
for the colonists to get supplies from
the English trading ships.
• The settlers of Boston did not
welcome people with different
beliefs from their own because they
believed that dissent (disagreement)
might hurt their colony.
• Roger Williams
disagreed with the
– Believed that
the church
should be
separate from
the government
– Felt that people
should not be
punished for
having different
• In 1636, Williams
bought land from
the Native
Americans and
called it
Providence (in
modern day Rhode
Island). This
settlement allowed
freedom of
• Settlers who wanted more economic opportunities moved
to the area of New Hampshire.
• Settlers left the poor soil of Massachusetts and moved to
the Connecticut River Valley.
• In the Connecticut River Valley,
Metacomet (also known as King
Philip), the leader of the
Wampanoag Indians, started the
King Philip’s War which resulted
in English rule over tribal lands.
Life in New England
• Religion affected how the Puritans lived, worked, and spent
their free time. EVERYONE was required to attend church.
• Schooling was required in the New England colonies for
one main reason– to learn how to read the Bible
• The first English colonial
college, Harvard University,
was founded to train
• New England Colonies had
more schools than any other
English colony.
• At the center of each town there was a common , a
park-like area shared by all townspeople where they
kept the livestock such as cattle, hogs, and sheep for
food, leather, and wool. People built their homes
around the common.
• Each town had a
meeting hall were where
the town meetings were
held where male
church members could
have a voice in how the
colony was governed.
Inside view of the Old South Meeting
House in Boston
Home Life
 Women and Girls:
• Prepared/ preserved (stored) food
• made every day items (soap, brushes, candles, etc.)
• made clothing
• took care of the
children (most
families had 7 or
more children)
 Men and Boys:
• Hunted for food, furs, and
• cut the firewood
• made their own tools
• patrolled the edges of the
• worked in the fields (mainly
corn, pumpkins, squash,
New England’s Economy
• Farmers sold or traded their surplus goods for other goods.
• Farming led the way to a free-market economic system,
meaning the farmers sold their goods to merchants who
shipped them to England to sell them for more than the
merchants had paid.
• Colonist used the forests in
New England to build houses,
barns, churches, fences, and
ships and sold surplus lumber to
Europe and other colonies.
• Fishers caught fish such as cod,
herring, and mackerel.
Trading became the center of the region’s economy
• The English rule
insisted that the
colonies send their
exports (goods
being sent from the
country) only to
England or English
• The King also
expected the
colonists to buy only
imports (goods
brought into a
• Triangular Trade Routes connected England, English
colonies, and Africa, and carried goods from all three
areas to trade among each another.
• The Middle
Passage was the
long trip across
the Atlantic
Ocean that
carried enslaved
Africans from
Africa to the
West Indies.
Laws/ Leadership
Money/ Financial
Arts/ Education/
Pilgrims-traveled as Mayflower
a group for religious Compact
William Bradford
Religious freedom
economic system
Schooling to read
the Bible
Lumber, fish, crops,
Women preserved
Puritans-wanted to
break free from
Church of England
and to refine, or
make pure, the
Import/ export
Most items were
handmade (clothes,
soap, candles,
tools, etc.)
John Winthrop
Roger Williams
(Rhode Island)
Triangular trade
Write a Letter!
W2.4 Write persuasive letters or compositions
• Use the facts on the SPEC page you have
completed and draft a one page persuasive
• You live in the New England colonies in the
1600’s and you want your cousin from England
to come visit you. What facts and details
would you include in your letter to persuade
him or her to come?

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