Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation between a student and her United States History professor.
Professor: So, Amanda, you've asked a lot of questions about trade during the colonial period of the United States. Has our discussion clarified things for you?
Student: Well, yeah, but now, I think writing about trade for my paper isn't going to work.
Professor: Oh, so your questions about shipping routes were for your research paper?
Student: Yeah. But now, I see that I probably need to come up with a new paper topic.
Actually, there was one other idea I had.
I have been thinking about doing something about community planning in the early British settlements in Eastern North America.
Professor: Oh. OK. I am curious. Why are you interested in doing something on community planning in colonial times?
Student: Well, I am much more into architecture. It's my major and I mean, planning out a town or city goes along with that.
I mean, not that I don't like history...I am interested in history...really interested...
But I think, you know, for a career, architecture is more for me.
Professor: That's great. I've gotten some very thought-provoking papers from students whose interests go beyond history.
Student: OK. But for the paper you wanted us to try to include a comparison, right?
Professor: Yes. Actually, that was really the purpose of the assignment.
The way the United States developed or perhaps I should say the colonies, since the land that would become the Eastern United States...uh...there were British colonies there four hundred years ago.
But anyway...uh... development in the colonies differed greatly depending on geography.
I am looking for papers that have ideas about how something that happened one way in the Northern colonies happened a different way in the Southern colonies.
Student: Is that true in terms of urban planning?
Professor: Very true. Towns in the Northern colonies were centralized and compact.
They provided a meeting point for exchanging goods, for participatory government, and for practicing religion.
Houses would be built along the roads that led into town.
And just outside the developed area, there would usually be an open field of some sort for grazing animals and also group activities.
Actually, the model for planning a town in the Northern colonies was not unlike the model for the development of towns in medieval Europe.
After all, the colonists had just come from Europe and the medieval period was just ended.
Student: Medieval Europe. But what about the South?
If I remember correctly... In the South, at least initially, they didn't build towns so much as they built trading posts.
Professor: That's right. Most of the settlers in the North wanted to start a whole new life.
But most of the people who came from Europe to the South just wanted to make some money and then go back.
It is not surprising that some of most common buildings were storage facilities and port facilities.