Tobacco and the Colonial American Economy

Tobacco, and the economic system of mercantilism, factored into the grievances of the colonists leading to the American Revolutionary War. Introduction The most important cash crop in Colonial America was tobacco, first cultivated by the English at their Jamestown Colony of Virginia in 1610 CE by the merchant John Rolfe (l. 1585-1622 CE). Tobacco grew[…]

A Brief History of Tobacco in the Americas

Tobacco, along with the “three sisters” (beans, maize, and squash), was among the most significant crops cultivated by Native Americans. Introduction The history of tobacco use in the Americas goes back over 1,000 years when natives of the region chewed or smoked the leaves of the plant now known as Nicotiana rustica (primarily in the[…]

Sugar, Tobacco, and Slavery in the 18th and 19th Centuries

The most lucrative cash crops to emerge from the Americas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were sugar, tobacco, and rice. Introduction The conditions required for cultivating different cash crops largely shaped regional labor experiences and population demographics for enslaved Africans in the New World. European settlers experimented with a range of crops and export[…]