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These notes allowed individuals to deposit a certain amount of tobacco in a warehouse and receive a note bearing the value of the deposit that could be traded as money.In 1690, colonial Massachusetts became the first place in the Western world to issue paper bills to be used as money.
While life in the thirteen colonies was shaped in part by English practices and participation in the larger Atlantic World, emerging cultural patterns increasingly transformed North America into something wholly different.
Transatlantic trade greatly enriched Britain, but it also created high standards of living for many North American colonists.
Paper money was not the only medium of exchange, however. Barter and the extension of credit—which could take the form of bills of exchange, akin to modern-day personal checks—remained important forces throughout the colonial period.
Still, trade between colonies was greatly hampered by the lack of standardized money.
Historians have called this process the “consumer revolution.” Britain relied on the colonies as a source of raw materials, such as lumber and tobacco.
Americans engaged with new forms of trade and financing that increased their ability to buy British-made goods.
Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic advertised both their goods and promises of obtaining credit.
The consistent availability of credit allowed families of modest means to buy consumer items previously available only to elites.
In fact, they were considerably less important to the Crown than the sugar-producing islands of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Barbados, the Leeward Islands, Grenada, St. These British colonies were also inextricably connected to the continental colonies.
Caribbean plantations dedicated nearly all of their land to the wildly profitable crop of sugarcane, so North American colonies sold surplus food and raw materials to these wealthy island colonies.