What Was the Culture of the Southern Colonies?

The culture of the southern colonies was primarily agricultural and included wealthy plantation owners, smaller farmers, indentured servants and slaves who provided labor for the plantations. This predominantly rural area offered rich farmland and a warm, humid climate, ideal for crops like tobacco, cotton and grain.

Plantation owners hired tutors to teach their children. On small farms, the child’s education came from the parents. Slaves received no education and children often started working early in life.

Billiards, backgammon and board games became popular among the wealthy. While most children’s toys were handmade, merchants also had a respectable selection. Books, especially for children, grew in popularity among those who could afford them. By the time of the Revolution, dolls and tea sets were popular toys.

Due to a lack of other opportunities for entertainment during the early colonial years, events such as court days and public executions became community festivals. Theater grew in popularity in the colonies. In the 1773-1774 season, Charleston was home to 58 plays of various subject matter and quality. The pit offered the opportunity for the poor to enjoy the show while the wealthy watched from box seats. Dancing was trendy in South Carolina and Virginia. However, as the Revolutionary War approached, the Continental Congress urged limiting resources used for entertainment so they were available when needed.