The Thirteen Colonies had the perfect geographical location for trading with the many ports that were open year-round along the Atlantic coast.

Just like France, England focused on mercantilism. In other words, colonies produced raw materials that were sold to the metropolis. The metropolis would then send finished products back to the colonies. The Thirteen Colonies, especially the northern and middle colonies, developed lots of autonomy in trade.

The major ports of the Thirteen Colonies were Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In addition to their expertise in fish, Boston merchants exported wheat, lumber and ships, and were involved in large triangular trade routes. By supplying the West Indies, they were able to obtain sugar, which was then shipped to England in exchange for various products sold in Africa where they also bought slaves who were then sold in the West Indies and the southern colonies.

Philadelphia, which was the largest town of the Thirteen Colonies at the time, exported a variety of products: pork, beef, fish, various grains and flour. Half of all flour exported by the Thirteen Colonies went through Philadelphia. Trade was so developed in the Thirteen Colonies that they sold more than they purchased. As for New France, it almost always bought more than it sold.

Author: Léon Robichaud

See also – Traces of the past:

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