Reading Passage and Practice: North American colonies
Math: Interpreting and representing fractions
Vocabulary: Colonial terms
: Description of a village, showing causes
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A colony is land that belongs to a far-away country.  The American colonies belonged to the country of England.  England controlled and protected its colonies.  The American Colonies were supposed to obey England.


English settlers traveled across the ocean to make their homes in America. Jamestown was the first lasting English settlement.  It was founded in 1607. Later, in 1620, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact and settled in Plymouth.


The Mayflower Compact set up self-government for the people of Plymouth. After a while, there were thirteen (13) colonies. You will recognize the names of the thirteen colonies because they are now states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

The colonies were very different from each other, from the beginning. These differences could still be seen years later.  For example, people in the northern colonies wanted  religious freedom. They also wanted a safe place for their children.

The people in the southern colonies wanted to live a quiet, agricultural life. They wanted the plantation way of life.  To make the plantations work, they needed indentured servants. Indentured servants were similar to slaves, but they had a contract with the plantation owners.  At the end of their contract, they were free. Later, colonists began bringing slaves from Africa. Slaves were forced to work with no pay.  After 1680, slaves did most of the hard work on the plantations because It was cheaper to use slaves from Africa.

The colonies needed England for many things. England needed the colonies for many things, too. For example, the colonies provided England with foods, raw materials, tobacco, and indigo. England also demanded high taxes from the settlers. After a while, the American colonists became upset and unhappy.  England worried that the colonies would get together against it.  England tried to keep a tight control on the colonies through its governors and through its laws.  Everybody was getting tense and angry, and a war (the American Revolution) started. The colonies won their independence because of this revolution

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