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New England Subregion: Its History and People, Part 2


New England Subregion: Its History and People, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.46

     challenging words:    abolitionists, bisque, blight, portland, trademark, ports, port, slavery, textile, molasses, starvation, english, provided, illegal, coastal, whaling
     content words:    New England Region, Its History, New England, Rhode Island, Charles W., In Rhode Island, Emancipation Act, American Civil War, United States, Thirteenth Amendment

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New England Subregion: Its History and People, Part 2
By Trista L. Pollard

1     New England's colonies became states before 1820. Many of the colonists in New England fished and farmed. In fact, fishing was a huge industry. Many of the New England states had a strong shipping industry. Sailors from Massachusetts took their ships around the world. They sailed to China and other parts of Asia. They exported goods to these places. They also imported goods from these countries. Rhode Island provided materials for the navy. They also shipped molasses, preserved meats, cider, and dairy products. Whaling was a huge business along the New England coast. Whalers were men who went out in ships to hunt whales. Connecticut had a whaling port in Mystic. Today, you can go to Mystic, Connecticut, to see the last whaling ship. It is called the Charles W. Morgan. Its first voyage happened in 1841. This museum tells the story of whaling in Mystic.
2     Early in their history, the states in New England allowed slavery. Rhode Island played a large role in the slave trade by sponsoring slave ships. Slave ships sailed from Rhode Island ports across the Atlantic Ocean. After landing in Africa, kidnapped Africans were forced onto the ships. The full ships then returned to Rhode Island, usually with a stop in the West Indies to sell slaves or trade slaves for sugar. Men, women, and children were sold as slaves. As slaves, they were owned by other people. They had no rights or freedom. They were brought to the West Indies or the American colonies to work on farms and other businesses. Soon, though, concerns about the morality of slavery began to emerge. By the middle 1800s, slavery had been outlawed in the Northeast. In Rhode Island, an emancipation act was passed in 1784. The emancipation act gradually granted freedom to African slaves. By 1807, most Africans were free from slavery in Rhode Island. Connecticut made slavery illegal in 1848. These laws were the result of hard work by abolitionists. Abolitionists fought to end slavery. They organized groups to speak out against slavery. Abolitionists also published newspapers that spoke against slavery.
3     Also in the 1800s, there was another struggle against the government. War erupted between the North and the South. The New England states joined other northern states during the American Civil War. They fought to keep the southern states from separating from the United States. The southern states still depended on slavery for their economy. They wanted the right to keep slavery. The northern states won the war, and the country remained united. Slavery was abolished everywhere in the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution made slavery illegal in the U.S.

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