Social Studies 5: Tell Me More About These Colonies

Today we'll learn all about the colonies in North America. Protip: The middle colonies were totally the best. Moderate weather, more diversity, and they ended up with WAY less slavery. Good times.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Social Studies
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:21

The colonies were divided into three distinct regions, each offering something unique to [The colonies shown in different colors on a map]

00:25

would-be colonists.

00:26

First, there were the New England Colonies.

00:28

If you’re in the mood for turkey and cranberry sauce, New England is where you want to be. [Guy dreaming of a turkey walking past a pot of cranberry sauce]

00:33

That’s because New England was founded by Puritans, also known as the Pilgrims, also

00:37

known as the People Who Brought You Thanksgiving. [Pilgrims having a thanksgiving dinner]

00:40

They fled England hoping to find religious freedom, and they found it!

00:43

They also found a climate of cold winters, mild summers and hard rocky soil that made [Shovel digging into the soil]

00:48

farming difficult.

00:49

Without cash crops to make a living on, New Englanders turned to fishing, lumbering, fur

00:53

trading and mining, instead. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:55

Of course, if they wanted something fancy, they still had to order it special from England. [Woman using a computer]

00:59

Amazon Prime wasn't a thing, yet.

01:00

If you were lacking in Puritan work ethic, but were pro-diversity, you probably would've

01:05

enjoyed the Middle Colonies.

01:06

They were largely founded by Dutch Quakers also seeking religious liberty. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:11

In the middle colonies, just about anyone was free to practice whatever form of worship

01:14

they wanted.

01:16

Their diverse culture was also a reflection of their diverse climate.

01:19

Moderate weather and fertile soil made it easy to grow cash crops like cotton, fruit, [Crops popping up in a field]

01:24

grains…

01:25

… and other farm-to-table-ready foods for the enjoyment of 18th century British hipsters. [18th century people taking pictures of their food]

01:29

If farming wasn’t your thing, there were still plenty of other options to make a living

01:32

in the middle colonies, including mining, fur trading, lumber, ship-building… and,

01:37

depending on your moral compass, slave-trading.

01:39

But if you care less about religious freedom and diversity, and more about lifestyle and

01:43

gold, then you probably would've called the Southern Colonies home sweet home.

01:47

These colonies were founded by rich English gentlemen who were all about ye olde Benjamins. [Man jumps into swimming pool full of money

01:52

Or, actually, the pound sterling, since the US dollar wasn’t invented yet and Ben Franklin

01:57

was still just a kook with a key and a kite. [Franklin holding on to his kite in stormy weather]

01:59

The South’s economy was driven by cash crops – especially tobacco.

02:03

No one in the 18th Century knew the link between smoking and lung cancer, so demand for tobacco [Guy has a chest x-ray it says lung cancer in his chest]

02:08

was high…

02:09

…which made Southerners happier than pigs in a blanket.

02:12

Warm climates and rich soil made the crop super easy to grow. [Picture of old crop field]

02:15

But these enormous plantations required lots of work to keep the cash flowing in... [Guy dreaming of farming work]

02:19

…Which is why Southerners turned to slavery.

02:22

…which makes us sadder than pigs without blankets. [The blanket is taken away from the pigs]

02:25

So, no matter your religion, lifestyle, or job preference, the colonies had something

02:28

for everyone.

02:29

And you know what they say…"What happens in the colonies stays in the colonies…"

02:33

…No?

02:34

That's Vegas? [Lit up Vegas sign]

02:35

Shoot…we'll get it right one of these times…