The geography of the Southern Colonies featured tideland ideal for growing crops, hilly coastal plains, broad rivers for transportation, forests and swamp marshes. The tidelands extended from the Atlantic Ocean inland for about 100 miles. Beyond the tideland was the backcountry, which had less fertile soil and thicker forests.
The Southern Colonies were Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. These colonies had a long growing season and a warm, damp climate, which allowed settlers to grow cash crops. Among the most common crops were cotton, tobacco, indigo, rice and grain. The backcountry produced large amounts of timber and furs for trade. Timber from pine trees was North Carolina's largest export. Indigo and rice were the main crops of Georgia and South Carolina while Virginia and Maryland's main cash crop was tobacco.