Economic characteristics of the colonial period
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The New England colonies developed an economy based on shipbuilding, fishing, lumbering, small-scale subsistence farming, and eventually, manufacturing. The colonies prospered, reflecting the Puritans’ strong belief in the values of hard work and thrift.
The middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware developed economies based on shipbuilding, small-scale farming, and trading. Cities such as New York and Philadelphia began to grow as seaports and/or commercial centers.
Southern colonies developed economies in the eastern coastal lowlands based on large plantations that grew cash crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo for export to Europe. Farther inland, however, in the mountains and valleys of the Appalachian foothills, the economy was based on small-scale subsistence farming, hunting, and trading
A strong belief in private ownership of property and free enterprise characterized colonial life everywhere.
The economic system of mercantilism used by imperial nations created a system of interdependence between the mother country and its colonies.