The Southern Colonies

Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia

Slaves working in the tobacco fields.

Southerners didn't have enough money to pay people to work harsh hours in the fields, so they enslaved Africans and forced them to grow their tobacco, rice, indigo, etc. Charleston also worked as a port and trading center, but they mainly relied on agriculture.

First House of Burgesses meeting, Virginia, July 30, 1619.

The Southern colonies' government was not driven by religion. They sent representatives from each colony to participate in the House of Burgesses, their democratic government.

Colonists respected the aspects of class and social graces. The social structure consisted of white plantation owners with slaves ranking the highest in the colonies. Below them were poor white plantation owners, then indentured servants, (who worked for no pay), the freed blacks, and then the slaves ranking the lowest on the "social pyramid."

Founding Fathers of the Southern Colonies

Virginia was founded by the Virginia Company of London (bottom left) in 1607 for trade and gold. Maryland was founded by Lord Baltimore II, Cecil Calvert (top left), for religious freedom; this especially applied for Catholics.Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe (bottom right) to gain wealth and to give prisoners of debtors' jail a place to work and start a new life. The Carolina Charter was granted to eight proprietors (top right) by King Charles II.

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