colonies - settlers bring technology, knowledge from home countries;
New World - different geography, geology;
Need new skills.
1750 about 90% of colonial population at least part-time farmers.
access to new crops, corn
rapid population growth - about doubled every 25 years.
plow. Seeding. Weeding. Harvesting, threshing,
adaptations – axe, fencing;
wood – vital resource; building, fuel, chemical manufacture, tools, transport.
East Coast deforestation;
Shipbuilding - shipwrights, carpenters, blacksmiths, instrument makers, painters, ropemakers and sailmakers;
sawmills, run by waterpower.
Millwrights’ knowledge –skills of carpenter, mason, stonecutter, blacksmith, wheelwright and surveyor.
by 1820s, one water-driven mill for every 142 New Yorkers.
Lack of resources - short on people;
small crafts - blacksmith, carpenters, glass blower, barrel making, stonemason, tanner.
- NY and Philly under 100,000 people – London past one million.
David Rittenhouse clockmaker, scientific instrument maker; orreries 1760s.
Transport – 1750s, six 18-hour days from New York to Boston.
1790s turnpikes, 1808 National Road (doesn’t reach St. Louis until 1850)
transport costs 29% of selling price of flour from wheat grown in Shenandoah Valley & sold in Alexandria, VA 80 miles distant.
philosophy of mercantilism
1675 50 sawmills in Massachusetts alone;
mid-1700s, more ironmaking establishments in American colonies than in Britain itself.
1700 colonies 1,500 tons of iron; 1775, 30,000 tons.
1750, Parliament Iron Act - removed all duty taxes on bar iron & pig iron brought from colonies into England; second, prohibited colonists from building any new mills to produce finished metal products.
"A colonist cannot make a button or horseshoe without some sooty ironmonger in Britain bawling & squawling that he's being robbed."
1764 fifty Boston merchants agreed to stop wearing fancy imported lace; mechanics pledged to wear only aprons made in Mass.
"make American and buy American" movements
1772, Philly china factory, glass factory & paper factory.
- Continental Congress resolutions encouraging build-up of domestic industry;
encouragement for making firearms, saltpeter & sulphur,
one shipment alone, French sent 21,000 muskets & over 100,000 pounds of gunpowder.