Tobacco cultivation and exports formed an essential component of the American colonial economy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Tobacco plantations were distinct from other cash crops in terms of agricultural demands, trade, slave labor, and plantation culture. Many influential American revolutionaries, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, owned tobacco plantations, and were financially devastated by debt to British tobacco merchants shortly before the American Revolution. John Rolfe, a colonist from Jamestown, was the first to grow tobacco in America. He arrived in Virginia with tobacco seeds procured on an earlier voyage to Trinidad, and in 1612 he harvested his inaugural crop for sale on the European market.
The search for labor in southern states eventually led the states to do something they didn’t intend on doing. With the great demand for tobacco from states like Virginia and Maryland, and the large demand for sugar cane from the West Indies, the settlers were forced to turn to slave labor. They played a small role at first in the southern states, but eventually made up a large percentage of these areas populations. Georgia and North Carolina opposed slavery, but were unable to compete with the other states crop production. English settlers in Virginia and later Maryland around the Chesapeake Bay area discovered a crop from the Indians known as tobacco.
This essay will compare the Chesapeake and New England settlers’ reason for emigration, economies, demographics, religion, gender roles, and relationships with the Indians. The Chesapeake settlers were looking to make money quickly and with the least amount of work. Many of the settlers would rather search for gold than work for it. Eventually, this proved to be non-sustainable until gold was found in farming tobacco. Tobacco use increased due to Europeans enjoying smoking tobacco, and it's perceived medicinal benefits.
Jarrod Tasnady 9/20/14 Economics played a huge role in the establishment of European colonies in North America. From the beginning in settlements such as Jamestown and Plymouth went nearly extinct. They were saved by advancements in the economy. Due to agricultural discoveries farmers were able to produce a high demand in tobacco. This is what led to the establishment of not only Jamestown and Plymouth but as well as many other future settlements.
The Colony’s only source of revenue came from selling land. But colonists soon turned toward agriculture for revenue. They discovered growing tobacco would be highly profitable. In the early 17th century, smoking tobacco became popular in Europe, giving the Virginia Colony a lucrative trade with Europeans. But big planters owned much of the plantations, with the majority of people working for them, keeping most of the wealth made from the tobacco trade with these elite planters.
The 17th century Chesapeake and New England established themselves as hard working religious colonies that provided structure still seen in the States today. They both share many similarities regarding economy, and relationships with Native Americans, however they differ significantly in their societal structure, motives for settlement, and religion. Both the Chesapeake and New England colonies depended on trade as the basis of their economy. The Chesapeake economy was based on the tobacco industry; by 1680 it was exporting over 30 million pounds of the plant to overseas markets. Tobacco production not only helped the colony grow prosperous, it also created new opportunities for over 90,000 immigrants who moved to the colony as indentured servants.
Unlike New England, the Chesapeake region developed a society that was not primarily dependent on religion; most of these people came to America to seek economic prosperity. From the beginning, New England and the Chesapeake region were deviating, which was caused mostly by the fact that settlers developed a society around different goals– that is developing a religious, communal society in New England and seeking gold or cultivating crops for economic prosperity in Chesapeake; in addition, different climate and response to economic gap also contributed to the regions’ differences. New England maintained a strong, communal identity while the Chesapeake remained widely scattered. When New England settlers first arrived, they had strong ties to religion. John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, emphasized in his sermon that they were to be “a city upon a hill”, where everyone can see them and can be represented as a model Christian community (Doc A), which would also shame England into truly reforming the Church of England.
The Transformation of the Virginia over the years greatly influenced and shaped the Virginia of today. Virginia was founded by the Loyal Company in 1624 as a royal colony and is named after the “Virgin Queen” which it what Queen Elizabeth queen of England was referred as. Jamestown, Virginia was founded as a business venture by Captain John Smith to make profit for the shareholders and it was also a hotspot for gold which was a highly profited item. The later development of tobacco as stated in Document B would be the main cash crop of Jamestown and would begin to provide a sorely needed economic base for the colony. Tobacco was the main source of the colony’s economical growth and was in great need of being produced.
The largest continuity experienced during this time was the idea of exploration and expansion. Spurred by Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in 1492, others countries, besides Spain, began to send their own fleets and voyages over to the New World to claim land for their mother countries. The strong demand that European countries still had for sugar and raw materials was another reason that journeys across the Atlantic took place. As those raw materials were gathered and sent back to Europe, the idea of mercantilism became increasingly prominent towards the end of the 16th century, especially in the North American
Slavery Slavery is often viewed as an embarrassment to America’s History. Yet, without it, America would not be the great establishment that it is today. The arrival of African slaves helped build a strong economy in Colonial North America. Early settlers ventured to the New World for several reasons, but the most important one was gold. Colonists in Virginia were more concerned about wealth than they were with surviving and learning how to live off of the land.