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Trade in the Colonies

History of trade, plantations, colonialism and colonization in the 13 Colonies

Trade in the Colonies: Colonialism, Triangular Trade, Mercantilism, Trade, Industries and Plantations

Early American patriots and colonists

Servants and Colonists in Colonial America

Trade in the Colonies

This article on Trade in the Colonies of Colonial America provides facts and information about:

  • Trade in the Colonies
  • Trade in the New England Colonies
  • Trade in the Middle Colonies
  • Goods sent from the colonies
  • Trade in the Southern Colonies
  • An overview of the Trade in the Colonies with facts, information about the trade and economy of each of the 13 Colonies
Colonization, Trade & Colonialism
American Colonies Index
 

Trade in the Colonies
The original 13 colonies were divided into the New England, Middle and Southern regions. Each one prospered by trade in the colonies. The different products used for trade in the colonies are described in this article.

Trade in the Colonies - Natural Resources and Raw Materials
Trade in the colonies was determined by the climate and also by the different types of soil. Farming was an important trade in the colonies and the choice of crops was dictated by these two critical elements. Other types of Trade in the colonies were determined by the geography - close proximity to the sea and rivers led to the development of the fishing industry. The natural resources also impacted trade in the colonies. The lush forests provided wood for various trade items, iron ore was used as a basis for trade using this material. Trade in the Colonies was made possible by the their surplus of raw materials. Refer to Colonial Times for full descriptions of each of the trades and industries of Colonial America.

Trade in the Colonies Chart
The following chart details the Trade in the colonies of New England, the Middle Colonies and the Southern Colonies.

Region Economy, Industries and Trade in the Colonies
New England Colonies

 

Fish, whale products, ships, timber products, furs, maple syrup, copper, livestock products, horses, rum, whiskey and beer
 

Middle Colonies

 
Corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, lumber, coal, textiles, furs and shipbuilding
 
Southern Colonies
 
Tobacco, cotton, sugar, rice, indigo (dye) via the Slave Plantations, lumber, furs, farm products
 

Trade in the Colonies - Top 10 Commodity Exports from the 13 colonies
The Top 10 commodity exports from the 13 colonies in the 1770's are detailed below. The figures relate to the annual average values for each of the commodity exports. Refer to Colonial Times for full descriptions of each of the trades, industries and commodities of Colonial America.

Commodity Value

Tobacco

Flour

Rice

Fish

Wheat

Indigo

Corn

Pine Boards

Staves and Headings

Horses

766,000

410,000

312,000

154,000

115,000

113,000

83,000

70,000

65,000

60,000
 

Trade in the Colonies of New England
The Colonies of New England consisted of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The geography of New England consisted of mountains thick with trees, rivers and poor rocky soil that was difficult to farm and unsuitable for crops. The natural resources available for trade in the colonies of New England included fish, whales and forests. Items used for trade in the New England colonies Fish, whale products, ships, timber products, furs, maple syrup, copper, livestock products, horses, rum, whiskey and beer
.

New England Ship Yard

New England Ship Yards

Trade in the Colonies - New Hampshire
Trade in the New Hampshire Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in fish, timber, furs, ships and livestock. The sawmills, shipyards and warehouses played a prominent role in the colony.

Trade in the Colonies - Massachusetts
The early colonists concentrated on farming and fishing but as time passed more lucrative markets were found and the colony became highly industrialized. Towns emerged in Massachusetts including Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and Boston. The sawmills, shipyards, tanneries and warehouses played a prominent role in the colony. Trade in the Massachusetts Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in fish, timber, furs, wool, leather, whale products, ships and livestock.

Trade in the Colonies - Rhode Island
Trade in the Rhode Island Colony used their large variety of natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in fish, timber, furs, ships, and livestock including cattle. The easy access to water in the colony produced a flourishing fishing industry and the rich forests produced the timber for the lumber yards. The major trade city in Rhode island was Providence.

Trade in the Colonies - Connecticut
Trade in the Connecticut Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in fish, timber, furs, dried meat, rum, ships and livestock. Agriculture fared better in Connecticut than the other New England colonies due more favorable conditions and the colonists produced corn and wheat, using the mills to produce flour. The major trade cities in Connecticut were New Haven and Hartford. Other industries included dried meats, iron bars and rum.

   

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

Trade in the Middle Colonies
The Middle Colonies consisted of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. The geography of the Middle Colonies had a mix of the New England and Southern features but had fertile soil and land that was suited to farming. The Middle Colonies had a mild climate with warm summers and mild winters. The natural resources available for trade in the Middle Colonies included good farmland, timber, furs and coal. Iron ore was a particularly important natural resource. The Middle Colonies were the big food producing region that included corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, lumber, coal, textiles, furs and shipbuilding
.
 

Farming in the Middle Colonies

Farming in the Middle Colonies


Trade in the Colonies - Pennsylvania
Trade in the Pennsylvania Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, lumber, coal, bricks, apples, beer and wine, textiles, rope, furs and shipbuilding. Pennsylvania prospered industries related to iron, paper making, textiles and shipbuilding. Their agriculture wheat, corn, dairy and cattle. Other industries included . Towns and trade cities that emerged in Pennsylvania were Philadelphia, Lancaster and York.

Trade in the Colonies - Delaware
Trade in the Delaware Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, lumber, coal, textiles, furs and shipbuilding. Delaware was able to focus on agriculture and the timber industries together with their ironworks and shipyards. The major trade city in Delaware was Wilmington. 

Trade in the Colonies - New York
Trade in the New York Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, hemp, iron bars, horses, lumber, coal, textiles, furs and shipbuilding. The New York colony specialised in their agricultural products and their iron works and ship building industries. The cities that emerged in New York were New York City and Albany.

Trade in the Colonies - New Jersey
Trade in the New Jersey Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in corn and wheat and livestock including beef and pork. Other industries included the production of iron ore, lumber, hemp, coal, textiles, furs and shipbuilding. The iron industry was very strong in New Jersey and the iron works in the colony did well. Horse breeding also featured as a large industry. The trade cities that emerged in New Jersey were Princeton and Trenton.

Trade in the Southern Colonies
The Southern Colonies consisted of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The geography of the Southern Colonies featured fertile soil, hilly coastal plains, forests, long rivers and swamp areas. The natural resources available for trade in the Southern Colonies included Fish, forests (timber) and good agricultural land, farming on plantations was important. Items used for trade in the Southern Colonies colonies included Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber, furs, farm products many of which were produced on the Slave Plantations
.


Fleet of tobacco ships

Fleet of tobacco ships
 

Trade in the Colonies - Maryland
Trade in the Maryland Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber, furs, farm products. Maryland were also involved in the iron industry and shipbuilding. Their plantations produced rice, indigo and tobacco. The trade cities that emerged in Maryland were Annapolis and Baltimore.

Trade in the Colonies - Virginia
Trade in the Virginia Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber, furs, farm products, vegetables, clay and bricks. The plantations in Virginia produced quantities of tobacco, rice and corn. The trade towns and cities that emerged in Virginia were Jamestown, Williamsburg and Richmond.

Trade in the Colonies - North Carolina
Trade in the North Carolina Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber including tar, pitch and turpentine, furs, silk, barrel staves and farm products. Their plantations produced rice, indigo and tobacco. The major town that emerged in North Carolina was Raleigh.

Trade in the Colonies - South Carolina
Trade in the South Carolina Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber, furs, farm products, silk and grapes and raisins. Their plantations produced cotton, rice, indigo and tobacco. The major trade town that emerged in South Carolina was Charleston.

Trade in the Colonies - Georgia
Trade in the Georgia Colony used the natural resources and raw materials available to develop trade in Tobacco, cotton, rice, indigo (dye), lumber, furs, barrel staves, pottery, farm products. Their plantations produced sugar, rice, indigo and tobacco. The major trade town that emerged in Georgia was Savannah.

   

Trade in the Colonies - Triangular Trade
Triangular trade is a term that describes Atlantic trade routes between three different countries. The map shows raw materials and natural resources found in the 13 colonies were traded for manufactured products (finished goods) from England. The triangular trade route included Africa where slaves were treated as human commodities.

Trade in the Colonies - Mercantilism
Mercantilism was based on the benefits of profitable trading. England adopted trade policies that favored the flow of wealth from the colonies to the mother country (England). The policy of Mercantilism favored England because the raw materials from the colonies were used to make different products in England - finished goods have a higher value than raw materials. Also refer to Colonialism.

 

Trade in the Colonies Route Map

Map of Triangular Trade Routes

 

Trade in the Colonies

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Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

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