History Of Tobacco During The Colonial Period

1505 WordsAug 16, 20157 Pages
Amanda Dai Mr. Howden Apush, Period 3 15 August 2015 Short Answers 2. (a). Tobacco, as it relates to the early colonial period, was a fundamental cash crop for the southern colonies. It was first discovered by Europeans after Columbus’s first return from the West Indies, and by the early 17th century, tobacco from the Spanish colonies was widely used throughout Europe. John Rolfe, a Jamestown planter, experimented and produced high quality tobacco which quickly spread throughout the Chesapeake Bay. As there was great demand for tobacco in Europe, planters grew tremendously wealthy and occasionally made the surrounding region prosperous. However, the farmers often produced more than the demand which caused the price of tobacco to periodically decline. The tobacco economy followed a “boom-and-bust” pattern throughout the colonial period. Tobacco’s profitability, uncertainty, and its large land and labor demands, majorly shaped the society of Chesapeake and other southern colonies. (b). Tobacco played an undeniable role in the shaping of the economy of the southern colonies. Especially in the Chesapeake region, tobacco had, early on, established itself as the basis for the economy. The unpredictable rise and fall, or boom-and-bust, of tobacco prices led to a precarious economy in the plantations. During the years where the prices were at a high, planters could quickly expand their profits and their operations. However, when the prices inevitably
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