Eighteenth century british colonies

British Colonial Expansion, The 18th-Century Economy connecting London, vacation center, Spanish Succession, independent farmers, London docks More than anything else, the economic development of Britain in the 18th century made possible its military successes and the expansion of its empire. The establishment of a permanent national debt, funded by the sale of bonds that investors redeemed at a later date at an increased value, allowed the British government to amass the vast sums necessary to mount military expeditions of unprecedented size and cost.

Eighteenth century british colonies

Settlement and Economic Development: English colonization would open lucrative new American markets for "the Woollen clothes of England " and "sundry [of] our commodities upon the tract of that firme land. The "excellent and fertile soile" on both sides of Eighteenth century british colonies America 's "greate and deep" natural waterways promised "all things that the life of man doth require," and whatever settlers wanted to plant they could expect to harvest in abundance sufficient to "trafficke in.

The first to feel the effects of this transformation were the Native Americanswho met English vessels at the shore with valuable furs which they readily exchanged for prized English goods such iron tools, glass beads, and woven cloth. Most early English settlements depended heavily on such trade to repay investors who had financed their voyages, and some economies such as New York 's continued to rely significantly on the "Indian trade" through much of the colonial period.

The fur trade also exerted a profound impact on Native American economic life as imported European goods began displacing traditional tools, weapons, utensils, apparel, and ornamentation.

The historian James Axtell has termed this process "the first consumer revolution" in which Native Americans ' appetite for European goods spurred the growth of a Native market for European products that extended rapidly into the interior of North America.

Trade with Europeans altered nearly everything about Native life, disrupting and redirecting traditional trading patterns, producing a strain on the natural environment through over-hunting and over-trapping, and changing the way that American Indians clothed themselves, cooked their food, cultivated their soil, and hunted their game.

Eighteenth century british colonies

Iron tools replaced implements of bone and stone, woolen garments replaced buckskin, muskets replaced arrows and spears. By many eastern woodland Indians had become permanently dependent on European commerce, and their participation in colonial commerce contributed greatly to North American economic growth.

Settlers of Jamestown, the first successful English settlement in North America, shared with the adventurers of the earlier, ill-fated Roanoake settlement of the hope of tapping into precious sources of New World mineral wealth.

The founding settlers expected to exploit Virginia's game, fishing, and agriculture, and establishing a lucrative trade with the neighboring Powhattan empire. Nearly all these hopes were dashed as the Chesapeake colony teetered on the brink of failure for more than a decade.

They found no gold or gems, manufacturing enterprises such as a glassworks failed, their Old World work habits ill-prepared them for the demanding task of tilling and planting virgin soil, they were continually racked by disease, and their repeated provocation resulted in perpetual strife with their Indian neighbors.

Eighteenth-Century Resources -- History

Tobacco, which the settler John Rolfe began cultivating ineventually became the staple crop that saved the colony. Europeans loved the crop in spite of the denunciations of smoking by prominent figures, including King James I himself.

Jamestown planters were soon cultivating the "stinking weed" wherever they could find suitable land. Tobacco plantations began springing up along Chesapeake estuaries, creating a growing demand for labor and land as successful planters increased their holdings to put even more tobacco into cultivation.


Settlers who founded the colony of Maryland in quickly began following the example of their Virginia neighbors. For much of the seventeenth century, Chesapeake planters relied mainly on the labor of indentured servants from England, occasionally supplementing that labor force with captive Indians or Africans whose status varied from person to person.


English indentured servants bound themselves to work for a period of four to seven years, after which they were released. Many Africans brought to North America before shared that status, but a growing number came as slaves for life. Disease and malnutrition made life miserable for both European and African servants.

When the supply of European servants began dwindling afterplanters turned increasingly to African slaves. Bythe economies of Virginia and Maryland had come to depend on the labor of lifetime slaves of African descent who cultivated the main export crop. A very different economy emerged in the colonies of New England as families migrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, New HavenConnecticut, Rhode Islandand New Hampshire to escape pressure to conform to the state-sanctioned ceremonies of the Church of England.

The colder northern climate prevented the cultivation of staple crops common in England, but the land was suitable for traditional English farming methods. Significant equality in the size of family property was insured in many parts of New England by an orderly process of land distribution.Women's Roles in Eighteenth-Century America covers the area of North America that became the United States and follows the transformation of the British colonies into a new nation.

The book is organized thematically to examine marriage and the family, the law, work, travel, war, religion, and education and the arts.

Eighteenth century british colonies

The Economic Growth of the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake Colonies - Volume 39 Issue 1 - Allan Kulikoff Skip to main content We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites.

By the early eighteenth century, the English colonies in North America: a. were on the verge of independence from England b. remained tiny outposts of civilization. Eighteenth Century British Colonies In the eighteenth century, the British Colonies in North America experienced many changes that helped form the identity of America.

The demographic, ethnic, and social characters of Britain’s colonies were some of the major characteristics to be altered in the s. Captives and Voyagers, a compelling study from Alexander X. Byrd, traces the departures, voyages, and landings of enslaved and free blacks who left their homelands in the eighteenth century for British colonies and examines how displacement and resettlement shaped Reviews: 2.

Discuss the development and changes in status for Africans in the British colonies from through the mid-eighteenth century. Order instructions. Early settlers in North America included a wide variety of racial groups including Native Americans, Europeans and Africans.

Eighteenth Century Timeline of British Empire