The Diversity of the American Colonies: Back-to-School Basics, Part 6

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Episode Description:
The American colonists came from various countries for economic, religious, and social reasons. Learn more about the diverse groups who lived in the colonies in this episode!

The Diversity of the American Colonies: Back-to-School Basics, Part 6

This is 60-Second Civics from the Center for Civic Education. I'm Mark Gage.


The American colonists came from a variety of countries.


Some came seeking religious freedom, such as the Puritans in Massachusetts and the Quakers in Pennsylvania.


Others emigrated to America seeking economic opportunity.


Large numbers of colonists were descended from British or Irish settlers.


But many others came from other parts of Europe, such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and other countries.


The colonists brought their own social structures and spoke a variety of languages.


There was a large German-speaking population in Pennsylvania, for example.


Not everyone came to the colonies willingly.


One-fifth of the population was held in slavery. 


More than 300,00 Africans were taken from Africa to be enslaved in Britain’s American colonies and later the United States.


Those who survived the harrowing Middle Passage were sold as slaves.


The Middle Passage was the ocean voyage between the western coast of Africa and the North American colonies.


Slavery was permitted in all the colonies, North and South. 


Slavery continued to be legally permitted in some states until 1865, with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.


That’s all for today’s podcast.


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