While farming and trade were the two most important aspects of the colonial economy, other factors contributed to its development. Most colonial export involved the production of agricultural products, whereas most production of finished goods filled local demand only. One reason for this was that Britain's mercantile approach meant that colonies should not compete with the motherland when it came to manufactured goods. Almost anything produced in England could not be produced in the colonies; while this stricture limited colonial manufacturing, it did not prevent it.
Important colonial manufacturing efforts that were encouraged by Britain were naval stores and shipbuilding. As they were part of an economic system dependent upon oceanic trade, both Britain and the colonies required large and small vessels to move commodities. Shipbuilding required the right materials, skilled and unskilled labor, and proper construction facilities, making it an important part of the urban port economy.
As the colonies grew, the demand for other manufactured goods expanded as well. One important specialty was the production of metal goods, since settlement required a wide variety of tools and other metalware. Over time, growing colonial refinement also created a demand for fine metalware produced by jewelers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths.
Blacksmiths were important, as were gunsmiths, clockmakers, and printers. Shipbuilding, as portrayed in this period woodcut, was a mainstay of the colonial economy and vital to a commercial system dependent on oceanic trade. (Brown Brothers, Sterling, Pennsylvania) Other areas of production included making pottery and glass, shoemaking, and hat making, as well as the development of a local woolen goods industry, mainly in the form of homespun produced by women.
The development of production coincided with the development of a more advanced and permanent colonial infrastructure and the growth of a skilled workforce. Iron Act of 1750 *** What Would Your Job Be Like If It Were in the 1700s TheJobNetwork No, slavery didn't build America. Intellectual Takeout.