The Agrarian Economy of the Middle Colonies

The Middle Colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and New Jersey were, by far, the most agriculturally diverse in British America. The region's middling and small farmers, few of whom were directly connected to British mercantile networks, produced vast amounts of grain, along with fruit, produce, hemp, flax, and livestock. By 1768 the Middle Colonies, like New England, were exporting most of their goods to locations other than Britain. The majority were being sent to the West Indies. Other goods, including many crops regulated by parliamentary trade legislation such the navigation acts, were exported to southern Europe or other mainland colonial markets (although flax was destined for Ireland). Merchants in Philadelphia and New York also, like their counterparts in Boston and Providence, invested heavily in shipbuilding and ownership, which allowed them to earn greater profits through transporting goods.

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