The Southern Colonies

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What were cash crops in the Southern colonies?

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The southern colonies consisted of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The climate and geography of this region made it perfect for a variety of cash crops, which built the backbone of the southern economy. Among these cash crops were tobacco, cotton, rice, and indigo. The reason they were called cash crops was because they were not grown for subsistence purposes. They were grown strictly for cash and made many families wealthy.

Because these cash crops became so profitable, a plantation economy took hold. Families employed some, and enslaved most, to run these plantations. Out of all the cash crops, cotton was king. Cotton out produced every other crop in the world by the middle of the 1800s, primarily because of slave labor and the advances in machinery.

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