Some cities grew organically over time, while others were planned from the beginning.
The haphazard arrangement of medieval cities in Europe was reflected in New York and Boston's street plans.
Civic leaders in other cities like Philadelphia and Charleston calculated the urban plans according to the regular blocks and squares.
Government, civic, and educational buildings were placed in the city streets of Annapolis and Williamsburg.
Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston were the five largest cities in British North America.
Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Charleston had large populations of people.
The laboring classes included both slaves and free people, ranging from apprentices to master craftsmen.
The next group were shopkeepers, artisans, and skilled mariners.
The merchant elites were involved in buying, selling, and trading goods, as well as being involved in the city's social and political affairs.
There were slaves in both northern and southern cities.
The majority of the enslaved population lived in rural areas.
Slaves worked in skilled trades in port cities as domestic servants.
Slavery became more significant in the northern colonies between 1725 and 1775 as urban residents sought greater participation in the maritime economy.
The first slave-holding colony in New England was Massachusetts.
The Dutch settlers of New Netherland were the originators of the slave trade in New York.
Philadelphia became an active site of the Atlantic slave trade, and slaves accounted for nearly 8 percent of the city's population.
Slaves were the majority of the laboring population on the eve of the American Revolution.
Slavery, Antislavery, and Atlantic exchange was a transatlantic institution, but it had distinct characteristics in British North America.
Slavery was legal in every North American colony by the 17th century, but local economic imperatives, demographic trends, and cultural practices all contributed to distinct colonial variant of slavery.
Virginia imported its first slaves in 1619.
Virginia planters built larger and larger estates that were guaranteed to remain intact through the use of primogeniture and the entail, a legal procedure that prevented the break up and sale of estates.
The distribution of property guaranteed that the great planters would dominate social and economic life in the area.
The economy was dominated by tobacco.
Most of the slaves in Virginia worked on large estates under the gang system of labor, working from dawn to dusk in groups with close supervision.
The interests of slaveholders were protected by Virginians.
The first comprehensive slave code was passed by the House of Burgesses.
The children of enslaved women would be born slaves, conversion to Christianity would not lead to freedom, and owners could not free their slaves unless they moved them out of the colony.
Slave owners could not be convicted of murder for killing a slave, while black Virginians who hit a white colonist would be severely whipped.
Virginia planters used the law to regulate every aspect of their lives and maximize the profitability of their slaves.
Slavery was central to colonial life in South Carolina and Georgia, but specific local conditions created a different system.
Georgia was founded by a philanthropist who banned slavery from the colony.
Slavery was legal throughout the region by the 17th century.
South Carolina was the only mainland colony with a majority enslaved African population.
Slavery was legalized in the very beginning of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina.
Slaveholders from the British Caribbean sugar islands brought their brutal slave codes with them when they arrived in Carolina.
Slaves could be beaten, branded, and even castrated.
In 1740 a new law stated that the murder of a slave was not a crime.
South Carolina slaves have more independence in their daily lives because of a number of factors.
Merchants in West Africa were often asked to sell slaves in order to cultivate rice, the staple crop underpinning the early Carolina economy.
One of the most lucrative economies in the colonies was due to the expertise of the slaves from Senegambia.
The swampy conditions of rice plantations fostered diseases.
Many owners were forced to live away from their plantations due to the spread of tropical diseases.
The elites who owned plantations lived in town houses to avoid diseases of the rice fields.
The planters believed that Africans were more suited to labor in tropical environments due to the fact that they had a genetic trait that made them more resistant to Malaria.
Carolina slaves had less oversight than those in the Chesapeake due to the fact that plantation owners were often far from home.
The task system was used to organize slave labor.
Slaves were given a number of tasks to complete in a day.
Once those tasks were completed, slaves were given time to grow their own crops on garden plots.
Slaves here had a degree of economic independence.
Carolina slaves had a lot of cultural freedom.
The slave culture that was enabled by this autonomy and the frequent arrival of new Africans retained many African practices, and traditional African basket weaving is still practiced today.
The Stono Rebel lion was born in September 1739 because of this unique slave culture.
At least twenty white settlers were killed when a group of about eighty slaves set out for Spanish Florida under a banner that read "Liberty!"
on a Sunday morning.
The Spanish Empire's offer of freedom to any English slaves inspired them to go to Fort Mose, a free black settlement on the Georgia-Florida border.
The local militia defeated the rebels, captured and executed many of the slaves, and sold them to the sugar plantations of the West Indies.
Slaves would fight for freedom even though the rebellion was unsuccessful.
Slavery was important in the mid-Atlantic.
While New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania never developed plantation economies, slaves were employed on larger farms.
Some early Dutch families were granted huge tracts of land in New York's Hudson Valley that were used by enslaved Africans.
Slaves were a common sight in Philadelphia, New York City, and other ports where they worked in the maritime trades and domestic service.
New York City's economy was so reliant on slavery that over 40 percent of its population was enslaved by 1700, while 15 to 20 percent of Pennsyl vania's colonial population was enslaved by 1750.
Nine white colonists were killed in a 1712 slave rebellion in New York City.
In revenge, twenty-one slaves were executed and six of them committed suicide.
There was a planned rebellion by African slaves, free blacks, and poor whites in 1741.
Thirty-two slaves and free blacks and five poor whites were executed after panic unleashed a witch hunt.
The first group to turn against slavery was the Quak ers.