Lesson 2: Southern Colonies

Wrapping Up


Colonization in the southern part of what is now the United States began with the desire for profit — the Virginia company hoped to find wealth in the New World and possibly an easy passage to the Pacific Ocean. What they found was that the profitability of tobacco and agriculture continued to be a critical part of the southern colonial economy as the southern colonies expanded into what is now North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. In the next lesson, you'll learn about the early colonies further north.

Life Application

Materials: Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa
If you were interested in the experiences of Pocahontas and the lives of native people that you began to explore in this lesson, try one of these activities:
Make one of the American Indian game activities described in Chapter 2 of Great Colonial American Projects You Can Build Yourself! and play it with a friend. (You'll read that chapter in greater detail in a future lesson.)
Web Link
If you have a younger sibling or younger family friend, watch the Disney film Pocahontas with that young person and think about how the cartoon portrayal of the life of Pocahontas is similar to or different from the reality of her life. Share some of what you learned with your younger sibling or friend and think about how the movie might have been made in a more historically accurate way.

Questions to Discuss

  • What was the motivation for founding the Virginia colony? (The Virginia Company sought wealth, either from finding gold or silver or from finding a route to the Pacific. Eventually, the colony made tobacco cultivation very profitable.)
  • How did southern colonies get enough laborers to harvest their crops? (Colonial investors recruited people to become indentured servants, but some people were also transported to America against their will. Eventually, Africans were captured and enslaved to provide labor for southern agriculture in the British colonies.)
  • Do you think you would have wanted to come to America as an indentured servant? Why or why not? (Your child's answers will vary, but encourage her to think about the climate, ways of life, opportunities, and dangers of both England and the colonies.)
  • Who was the most interesting person you read about in We Were There, Too! for this lesson? What did you find interesting about his/her life?

Things to Review

  • Review your child's answers to the reading questions for both days.
  • Review your child's rewriting of the Barlowe account from a native perspective.
  • Review your child's poster or table comparing tobacco and silk or flax.
  • Review your child's timeline for accuracy.
  • Review your child's diagram comparing the voyage of Equiano with the voyage on the Mayflower.