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Account for the Geographical Characteristics of the Southern Chesapeake colonies at the end of the eighteenth century.

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Introduction

Account for the Geographical Characteristics of the Southern Chesapeake colonies at the end of the eighteenth century. The Southern Chesapeake colonies consist of Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina and Georgia. The settlement of the Southern Colonies started at Jamestown Virginia and it was led by Captain John Smith who also became the first Governor of Virginia. The Southern and Northern Settlements both grew up for different reasons. Whilst the Northern settlements grew up to seek refuge from Religious persecution (Jenkins, P, 1997) the Southern Colonists went out to make money and produce goods for England, mainly Mediterranean goods such as citrus fruits, wines and silk. Richard Hakluyt, who was a geographer for the court of James 1st and advisor to the London Plymouth Company, advised that the Southern Colonies would be ideal place to settle. However his choice of settlement was based purely on assumptions and it was not taken into account the East coast of a country was very different to the West coast (Mitchell, R, D, 1983). As a result tobacco became the staple crop and Virginia, which has been described as growing from smoke. This essay will look at how the Southern colonies continued to grow during the 18th Century and the geographical characteristics of that growth. At the start of the 18th century the population of the colonies was only 250,000, however by 1785 this had risen to around 2.5 million. ...read more.

Middle

In the South skilled workers like smiths, joiners, wheelwrights and leather workers were all moving out to the countryside to become plantation owners. The expense of free labour forced people into this (Middleton, R 2002). Not only was it a skilled labour force that was missing but also there was a lack of merchants, traders and artificers, these people being crucial in exporting and selling the goods. However this did not cause a problem in the tobacco region of Virginia because they exported directly from their plantations. It was is the Carolinas that this lack of merchants was apparent because they did not ship from their own plantations but had to transport their goods to central warehouses. As the Southern colonies adopted a more northern approach to agriculture, the need for slave labour should have been reduced, but this was not the case due to the fact that there was a big demand for cotton, which was very labour intensive. This was a result of the revolution in America and the industrial revolution in Britain, This had a big impact on the industry in the southern colonies both socially and spatially. One aspect of this industrialisation process was the iron industry. In 1775 the colonial iron industry turned out 15% of world production (McIlwraith, T.F, 2001). The geographical influences of iron was bog ore, which was used to produce the iron, which was reduced in furnaces. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant that their plantations doubled up as urban places offering many services that you would expect to find (Middleton, R (2002). Further South, as well as the need of land for the cotton industry, was the need of the raw materials, needed for the naval industry. Due to the high use of slave labour, rurality of the settlements was not a problem. If labour was short they imported it, they never had to go looking for it. In the Southern regions they liked to invest in areas where they knew they could make the most money from the land that was available. Major outside influences on the Southern Colonies was the industrial revolution in England, which meant that there was big demand for cotton. As a result people were constantly on the look out for good fertile land and the population continued to spread. The industrial revolution brought with it factories and demand for products which added momentum to the spread and organization of the Southern Colonies. Reference List Middleton, R, (2002) Colonial America: A History1565-1776. Blackwell Publishing. Knox, P,L, Bartles, E, H, Bohland, J,R, Holcomb, B, Johnston,R,J, (1998) The united States: a Contemporary Human Geography. Longman Scientific and Technical McIlwraith, T,F, Muller, E,K, (2001) North America: The Historical Geography of a changing Continent. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc Earle, C (1992) Geographical inquiry and American Historical problems. Stanford University Press Earle, C (2003) The American Way. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc Mitchell, R.D, (1983)American Origins and Regional Institutions, pp 404-420 in The Anals of the association of American Geographers. Jenkins,P, (1997) A History of the United States. Macmillan Press Ltd ...read more.

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