European nations such as England settled and maintained American colonies primarily to increase their wealth. American colonies provided their mother countries with wealth through the acquiring raw materials and providing a new market for finished products. As Spain's American colonies yielded nearly innumerable amounts of gold and silver, other European countries began to seriously consider founding colonies. England's colonies never produced much gold, but they did produce raw materials and cash crops such as fur, rice, tobacco, lumber, cotton, and corn. The colonists sent these materials to England, where craftsmen turned them into finished products. These finished products, in turn, were sent back to the colonies for the colonists to purchase. Because finished products are more expensive than raw materials, the balance of trade remained in the mother country's favor and thus bolstered and injected wealth into the economy.