Natural resources, agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and transportation were some of the elements underlying the economy of colonial Pennsylvania. The colony, founded by William Penn in order to promote religious liberty, became an economic growth center well before the years leading to the Revolutionary War.Know More
Agricultural production thrived from the colony's inception in 1681. By the 1750s, the southeastern section of Pennsylvania was well known as an agricultural center and exporter of grain. Wheat and corn were the primary crops, but colonists also grew rye, hemp and flax.
Natural resources included water, minerals, forests, fish and game. Settlers from England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France and elsewhere gave the colony a cosmopolitan spirit. Their ingenuity employed natural resources in productive and creative endeavors.
Home-based industries early in the colony's development included arts and crafts and textile manufacturing. Sawmills, shipbuilding, iron manufacturing, grist mills, paper making, publishing, printing and tanning diversified the economy. Lancaster County contributed the Pennsylvania long rifle and the Conestoga wagon to the list of original colonial products.
The many rivers of the area supported trade until a system of roads was built connecting the agricultural areas with Philadelphia. Stage coach lines were also built to facilitate travel and trade. Philadelphia grew into a hub of foreign trade and commerce.Learn more about US History
Colonists in New York made their living in a variety of ways, including fur and lumber trading, shipping, the slave trade and farming. By the end of the 17th century, New York was a prosperous colony with a thriving mercantile network.Full Answer >
The biggest driver of the Virginian economy during colonial times was tobacco. Farming was the main industry in the colony, and while other crops, such as corn and grapes, were grown and harvested, tobacco became a key motivator of growth.Full Answer >
Colonial South Carolina had a booming economy during the eighteenth century thanks in part to rice cultivation. Known as the South Carolina Colony or Province of South Carolina, much of the economy revolved around rice and animal pelts. This helped the area's settlers become competitive merchants and lead the way for the other colonies.Full Answer >
Colonial Delaware's economy was based on farming, manufacturing and trade. What started as local trade with Native Americans in the 1600s quickly grew into a large manufacturing economy in the 1700s. The iron, grain milling, shipbuilding and lumber industries accounted for a large portion of Colonial Delaware's economy.Full Answer >