Colonies – Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia
Climate/Geography – The Southern Colonies enjoyed warm climate with hot summers and mild winters. Geography ranged from coastal plains in the east to piedmont farther inland. The westernmost regions were mountainous. The soil was perfect for farming and the growing season was longer than in any other region. Hot summers, however, propagated diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.
Religion – Most people in the Southern Colonies were Anglican (Baptist or Presbyterian), though most of the original settlers from the Maryland colony were Catholic, as Lord Baltimore founded it as a refuge for English Catholics. Religion did not have the same impact on communities as in the New England colonies or the Mid-Atlantic colonies because people lived on plantations that were often distant and spread out from one another.
Economy – The Southern economy was almost entirely based on farming. Rice, indigo, tobacco, sugarcane, and cotton were cash crops. Crops were grown on large plantations where slaves and indentured servants worked the land. In fact, Charleston, South Carolina became one of the centers of the American slave trade in the 1700’s.