Economic Systems

  Stone Carving of Puritans
[audio] Economic Activities in the 13 Colonies

  • Some countries, besides England, that were in the British Empire were Wales, Scotland, and parts of Ireland.
  • Manufacturing: making things by hand or by machine.
  • Europeans defined natural resources as things made by nature that humans know how to use.

Agriculture in the 13 Colonies

  • Most people earned a living before and during the colonial time by farming

Manufacturing in the 13 Colonies

  • Commercial manufacturing is a way to make goods and supplies to sell to others.
  • A master craftsman: a person who was skilled at making special products like wagons or rifles.
  • An apprentice was a young person who learned a special skill from a master craftsman.
  • Men got most of the manufacturing jobs because those were the customs and traditions of colonial society.
  • Besides professional skills, the master craftsman was supposed to teach the apprentice reading, writing, and math.


[audio] Trade in the 13 Colonies

  • Traders: people who get wealth by buying items from a group of people at a low price and selling those things to other people at higher prices.
  • Imports: trade goods that are brought into a colony or country.
  • Exports: trade goods that are sent to another colony or country.

Multiple perspectives on imports and exports.

  • Britain bought ships from the 13 Colonies for imports because things were made in the 13 Colonies and sent to Britain.
  • The Colonies exported ships, which means they were made in the Colonies.

Imports and a shortage of master craftsmen.

  • The colonists imported items from Britain even though the same items were manufactured in the colonies. The skilled craftspeople could not make those products fast enough.
  • Credit: means being able to buy something now with a promise to pay later.
  • The problem that credit caused the colonists: many were always in debt.

[audio] Trade and the development of colonial towns and cities

  • A break-in-transport is the geographic location where goods and supplies were loaded and unloaded.
  • A break-in-transport came first and then a town or village would develop.
  • The first colonial towns started along riverbanks or the ocean coast because the first European settlers traveled by water to the shores and products were imported and exported from the towns along the shores.

Water for transportation.

  • It was easier to transport goods by water than by roads for the first colonists because products were heavy or bulky and could be transported faster, with more ease, and at a lower cost by boats.


[audio] Economic Activities in the New England Colonies

Agriculture of the New England Colonies

  • A subsistence farmer hardly raised enough food to feed their families.
  • Many New England farmers, in order to make enough money to support their families during the non-growing season: had to find jobs in fishing, logging or trapping for fur.
  • Agriculture in the New England Colonies: poor soil, mountains, cold winters, and a short growing season.
  • Cash crops: crops or animals raised to make money.

Manufacturing in the New England Colonies

  • Naval products: All the things needed to build and sail a ship.
  • England encouraged the New England shipbuilding industry: England's forests were used up.
  • The second important industry in New England: the alcoholic drink called rum.

[audio] The Environment and Manufacturing

  • The New Englanders accommodated to their environment by finding other ways to make a living.

Trade in the New England Colonies

  • The New England trade was known as a triangular trade. The trading ships followed ocean routes that formed a triangle on the world map.
  • For the New England colonies, manufactured products were exports because they were made there and shipped out.


[audio] Economic Activities in the Middle Colonies

Agriculture in the Middle Colonies

  • The environmental factors that allowed farmers from the Middle Colonies to grow cash crops were flat land that had rich soil and a longer growing season. Agriculture in the Middle Colonies included corn, vegetables, grain, fruit and livestock.

Manufacturing in the Middle Colonies

  • Manufacturing in the Middle Colonies included iron ore products like tools, kettles, nails and plows and huge blocks of iron to export to Britain.

Trade in the Middle Colonies

  • Trade in the Middle Colonies included exported agricultural products and natural resources, imported European manufactured goods, but never developed triangular trade routes.