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Q &A: US Business History

1) What modern characteristics of our economy took root during the colonial era and still influence our economic behavior?

2) Explain the chronic labor shortage. How did the colonists overcome this shortage? What were the consequences?

3) Describe mercantilism, its principles and how it differs from free enterprise. Does it exist today, in the attitude of the industrial nations towards the developing lands, or anywhere else?

4) Describe the Navigation Acts, as to their unexpected as well as their intended consequences. Do counterparts to these Acts exist today?

5) Consider relations between producers, mostly farmers at this time, and so-called middlemen or purchasers and distributors, the commercial elements of colonial society. Did relations between these two groups shift? Can you describe the dynamic?

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Dear student,
Hello once again and thank you for using Brainmass. Since you did not indicate the text you are using for this class, I cannot assure you that the answers below will be course-specific. They are however general knowledge and should get you started. As requested, they are also short and concise. Each numbered answer corresponds to the questions in your original posting. If you need room to expand on the information provided, the references are listed. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Q&A: American Colonial Economy

1. Modern characteristics of the colonial economy that paved way for what is now rooted American economic cultural behavior has structural, psychological and economic effects on how then Colonial America shaped itself. First off, colonial economy was export driven. The colonies were territories meant for production and farms and then industries profited from an export of goods. Internally, trade was also in place creating a dynamic market economy where finance and credit was made available by financiers and investors in the hopes of chasing in on gains via growth on whatever business proposition they enter (i.e. shipping & import/export, farms and plantation for most sought after crops, slavery, etc.). What the colonials sought for then is self-sufficiency and growth via free trade, and this still rings true in the America we know today even if perspectives, laws and the social landscape have changed.

2. Labor shortage in the colonies was brought about by a number of factors. There was just so much to do with labor that is affordable in terms of making a profit unavailable. In short, there wasn't much labor available among the settlers, extra labor, to help make their plots and plantations profitable much less to build towns, maintain settlements, man ships, etc. This was made worse by the difficulty of adapting to the new environment. Disease at times decimated populations and ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,119-word narrative that provides specific answers to the original 5 questions presented in the problem discussing the answers and ideas behind the history of business enterprise in the United States. References are listed for further research. A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.