Read “Life in Colonial America” and answer the questions that follow
1. During the late 1700s, almost 2.5 million people lived in America. They moved from Europe into colonies that spread
from Maine to Georgia. Each of the immigrants came for his own reasons; most people came because of the cheaper land, religious freedom
, to serve
jail time, or because of the opportunities. Some were brought to America as indentured servants. They agreed to work for a certain period
of time to pay for their passage
before they became free. Others were brought to the country as slaves.
2. Most early Americans were farmers. Of course, the type of farms they had usually depended on the part of the country in which they lived. Those who lived in the northern colonies had to deal with cold climate
and rocky soil
. Because of this, their farms were typically small (around 55 acres) and easily run by a family with one or two indentured servants.
3. The warm climate
and fertile soil
of the South made farming
easier. Most families lived on small farms; however, there were many families who lived on larger farms called plantations. These plantations often used many slaves to farm the land. Some of the largest plantations could easily be thousands of acres of land, housing several
families, and hundreds of slaves.
4. Americans of the early colonial period
were very self-sufficient. They raised and grew their own food and made their own clothes. They used the land and trees around them to build their own tools, homes, barns, and even make their own medicines. If they had anything leftover, most families would trade
with a neighbor
for other goods; things rarely
went to waste