Scare resources have contributed to the unfavorable living conditions in Jamestown in 1607. Famine had greatly reduced the population of settlers over the course of a few years. In 1620, the search for a more favorable location led other immigrants to a New England coastal site they called Plymouth. Though severe weather had caused casualties, some were able to survive and in 1621, they reaped the village’s first harvest. This subsistence economy shaped the development of the first immigrant settlements in British America.
Several years later, with the development of proprietary colonies south of New England, a new economic force began to shape the settlements. In Carolina, the effect of dissimilar production approach showed different economic results. The southern part of the colony focused on cultivating the highly profitable rice. They managed huge crop plantations with the help of black slaves. The economic condition in the north, where tobacco was cultivated in small plantations, was less prosperous.
During the 1700s, London imparted a blow to the budding economy of the colonies. From 1764, British taxes were imposed on goods imported by British America. These taxation policies affected imports of sugar, wine, and textile (Sugar Act of 1764), newspapers and legal papers (1765’s Stamp Act), and paper, paint, lead, glass, and tea (Townshend Acts of 1767). The colonies responded by boycotting British goods, and this led to the growing political tension between London and British America.
During the early years of the independent America, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison advocated economic policies to improve the condition and overall well-being of the country. These policies exemplified an agrarian model of commercial society (Henretta, 1995). While the system allowed the farmers to manage the productive sources, it left them with the ...
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