The Extent Of European Influen Essay

1483 words - 6 pages

From the early day of the colonization, trade and commerce has played an important role in the forming and shaping of civilization in America. The first English settlement at Jamestown was established for the sole purpose of creating a source of revenue and profit for individual investors and the mother country. The vast majority of people who migrated to these new lands during colonial times did so not to escape religious and political persecution (although many did) but mainly for economic purposes. America offered the common people of the world the opportunity for financial gain and self-sufficiency. From these humble beginnings, the roots that became the American economic system formed. After securing independence for Great Britain, the new nation greatly expanded foreign trade and underwent revolutions in transportation and farming methods that gradually lead to the creation of a national market economy.At the close of the Revolutionary War, the states found themselves in urgent need of manufactured good. War-born shortages of goods quickly brought about a revival of foreign trade. After the signing of The Treaty of Paris, American and British merchants were free to resume trade between the two countries. America also expanded trade to other countries. During the colonial period, Britain did not permit the colonies to transport any goods directly to the European continent north of Cape Finisterre. The Navigation Act also prohibited the exportation of tobacco, rice, indigo, furs and naval store to other countries except Great Britain and other colonies. American victory in the Revolutionary War ended all such restrictions and regular trading developed several countries in Europe, Asia, the Far East and Central and South America. Because of the 150-year trade history of Britain and American familiarity with British goods and trade system, most American merchants preferred trading with Great Britain. In a short period of time, Britain quickly reestablished its self as Americas premiere trading partner, accounting for almost half of the total trade volume of the United States (Nettels 45,46).Transportation of goods to and from foreign markets was dominated by the American Merchant Marine. American vessels transported over eighty-five percent of foreign trade. As a result, merchants in major port cities received major profits. The Merchant Marine provided an avenue by which investment and immigrant workers and consumers migrated to America (Kirkland 192).The gradual improvement in Americas transportation system after the Revolutionary War was a major contributing factor to the economy. Transportation prior to the 1800's served mainly to supply farmers with goods, to get their products to market and to take pioneers to new lands. The road network that existed after the Revolutionary War was inadequate to meet the demands of a growing nation (Kirkland 132,133). Most roads had been constructed to connect major cities such as Baltimore, Providence,...

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