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Colonial Economy and Trade

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Ashley Leyba

on 2 January 2015

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Transcript of Colonial Economy and Trade

Colonial Economy
Navigation Acts
A series of laws passed by the English Parliament between 1660 and 1700 to control trade in the colonies

Sought to prevent colonial trade with other countries

Limited the colonies to only purchasing finished products from England

These acts angered the American colonists, and led to large-scale smuggling

Southern Colonies
Tobacco, Indigo, and Rice

Heavy Reliance on Slave Labor
Mercantilism
Economic Philosophy
England’s colonies should provide it with raw materials
England would then turn the raw materials into finished materials, which it would then sell to the people of the colonies and to people of other countries.
This meant that England strongly discouraged the making of finished products in its colonies.
Growth of Colonial Trade
Review: Triangular Trade
Northern Economy
Diverse economy: limited use of cash crops, more limited manufacturing

Craftsmen and artisans: blacksmiths, weavers, printers, shipbuilders

Fishing and whaling for food, oil, and fuel

Importance of livestock

Slavery less important in the North

The Middle Passage
Crossing from Africa to the New World took between one and six months

Male captives were normally chained together in pairs to save space; right leg to the next man's left leg

15% mortality; two million Africans died on the Middle Passage

Women and the Colonial Economy
Laws and customs limiting women’s economic activity

Working at home and raising children

Producing goods for the family & selling products to others (on a limited scale)

Women as nurses and midwives

Some ran farms and businesses, such as grocery stores, bakeries, and drugstores

More Specifically...
Only English or English colonial ships could carry cargo between imperial ports

Certain goods, including tobacco, rice, and furs could not be shipped to foreign nations except through England

The English Parliament would pay “bounties” to Americans who produced certain raw goods, while raising protectionist tariffs on the same goods produced in other nations

Americans could not compete with English manufacturers in large-scale manufacturing

“Salutary Neglect:” Lenient enforcement of Parliamentary laws.

The Middle Colonies
Staple crops such as wheat, barley, and oats

Combined aspects of north and south

More slavery than the north

Slaves as skilled laborers (blacksmiths and carpenters) as well as on farms and in shipyards



Slave Codes
Virginia 1705; South Carolina 1712

Slaves were prohibited from possessing weapons

Slaves were prohibited from leaving their owner's plantations without permission

Slaves were prohibited from lifting a hand against a white person, even in self defense

A runaway slave refusing to surrender could be killed without penalty

New York Slave Revolt (1712)

Slaves worked among free blacks (unlike plantation slaves)

23 slaves set fire to a building near Broadway and killed 9 whites who tried to put it out

70 arrested. 6 suicides. 27 tried. 21 convicted. 20 burned. 1 broken on the wheel.

New York cracks down on blacks: no assemblies, no firearms, free blacks cannot own land

Stono Rebellion (1739)
20 slaves from SC fled for Spanish-controlled Florida

Before leaving, they robbed a store (killing the owners) of guns and gunpowder

The group of slaves grew in number as they headed south

When the slave owners caught up with the slaves, they engaged the 60 to 100 slaves in a battle

More than 20 white Carolinians, and nearly twice as many black Carolinians, were killed

As a result, South Carolina's lawmakers enacted a harsher slave code. This new code severely limited the privileges of slaves

They were no longer allowed to grow their own food, assemble in groups, earn their own money or learn to read.
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