So, the English who arrived on American shores in the 1600s spread out along the coast and created 13 distinct colonies. We can group them by region. For example, the New England colonies are close together and share much of the same history, and are clearly distinct from South Carolina and its slave-based culture. But even Rhode Island and Connecticut, as close together as they are, are still different places. Why is this? Why did the English who came to America, despite all being from the same homeland, end up creating such different colonies?