The Colonial Economy

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What role did businesspeople play in colonial America?

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The role of the businessperson in colonial America helped shape the young economy of the future country. Upon colonizing America, settlers found land with vast resources that could ultimately be used for business. Entrepreneurs and farmers alike began to tap into these resources and create a colonial commerce.

In the northeast, manufacturing became central to the economy. Shipping and imports from Great Britain landed in this area. Men began creating fishing fleets, textile mills, grist farms, and shipyards that built the backbone of the manufacturing economy in the northeastern colonies.

In the south, a more agrarian approach took hold. Plantations farming cotton, tobacco, and corn sprung up with the use of slave labor. By the mid 1800s, cotton had become hugely profitable, both due to the invention of the cotton gin and the existence of the slave trade. This allowed America to compete in the world market.

Overall, these essential businesses helped mold the economy of the future United States. By the Revolutionary War, America was financially stable enough to fight the British; this obviously wouldn't have been possible without the businesspeople of colonial America.

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