Theme: Religious and
political turmoil in England shaped settlement in New England and the middle
colonies. Religious persecution in England pushed the Separatists into Plymouth
and Quakers into Pennsylvania. England's Glorious Revolution also prompted
changes in the colonies.
Theme: The Protestant
Reformation, in its English Calvinist (Reformed) version, provided the major
impetus and leadership for the settlement of New England. The New England
colonies developed a fairly homogeneous social order based on religion and
semicommunal family and town settlements.
Theme: Principles of
American government developed in New England with the beginnings of written
constitutions (Mayflower Compact and Massachusetts's royal charter) and with
glimpses of self-rule seen in town hall meetings, the New England Confederation,
and colonial opposition to the Dominion of New England.
Theme: The middle colonies
of New Netherland (New York), Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware developed
with far greater political, ethnic, religious, and social diversity, and they
represented a more cosmopolitan middle ground between the tightly knit New
England towns and the scattered, hierarchical plantation South.