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History of the American Economy - Essay Example

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Some historians opine that economy was the major reason for colonialism in America. The earliest settlers came in search of gold, furs, and plantations. They wanted to create a new homeland of prosperity, agricultural independence,…
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History of the American Economy
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Download file to see previous pages They used to grow tobacco, potato, tomato, and cotton when Europe and the rest of the world had not even heard about their names.
Colonists, however, did not come in search of these newfound ‘treasures’. They came in the search of gold and silver. Spain became the major colonizer of the Americas, starting from 1550s. French followed suit and established their bases in the present day Canada and Mississippi river delta. England, however, did not come in the initial stages of colonization. They came in the mid-seventeenth century and established a trading post at Jamestown, Virginia.
Spanish, however, again took lead in colonizing the resources-rich South America with dozens of gold and silver mines. England, with grave poverty issues back home, decided to colonize present day United States and benefit from its resources and labor (both slave and Native Indians).
The colonization resulted in an economic upheaval. The true roots of the American economy lie in the same period. Initially, British settlers concentrated on fur trade and trappings. The King, however, soon granted the permission to establish “charter companies” in the United States. These companies had to find private financiers for their growth but had the royal authority to colonize land and further British goals. Thus began the advent of “Mercantilism.”
Mercantilism, in its true sense, acted as the basic source of colonization. The initial trade revolved on importing clothing materials and exporting tobacco, rice, and tomato, among other agricultural production. The economic depression in the Untied Kingdom and relative prosperity in the colonial United States encouraged the settlers to start exploring further avenues of economy. Apart from the agricultural produce, which they had established to some degree, shipbuilding became a major profession, especially in the New England region.
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