American Archives

Theme: Economy

Documents in this group deal not only with economic reality (farming, industry, and trade) but with political economy, that is with late colonial ideological understanding of economic issues.

  • Agriculture: crops, harvesting, and production of food and fiber crops; shortages and surpluses of food stuffs.
  • Bounty: bounties given for manufacturing, agriculture, or military enlistments.
  • Debt and credit: individual debt/debtors and credit/creditors as well as colonial and state attempts to pay for public needs.
  • Empire: the economic operation or political ideas of the British empire in America.
  • Industry: manufacturing, arms and powder production, fishing and maritime industries.
  • Land: land distribution and land speculation.
  • Moral economy: philosophical aspects of the economy (the rationale for taxation, for instance) and communal reactions to deviant behavior (forced contrition by suspected Loyalists, for instance).
  • Paper money: calls for paper money, the theory of paper money, and paper money emissions.
  • Postal: organization and operation of the revolutionary postal system.
  • Taxation: economics and politics of taxation — but not complaints about specific taxes.
  • Trade and commerce: exports, imports, merchants, and mercantile behavior.
  • Trade restrictions: boycotts (Continental Association), British restrictions on colonial trade.