In the Southern colonies, tobacco was a huge crop, and the economy of several colonies was based almost entirely off of it. The history of tobacco is relatively short—by 1612, John Rolfe had perfected methods of growing tobacco that eliminated most of the bitterness of the leaf. After the first boatload of tobacco was sent to Europe, the European people quickly developed a high demand for it, one which American colonists were more than happy to fulfill. Because of the sudden incredibly high demand for tobacco, colonists were overwhelmed, and planted tobacco anywhere they could, including the ground next to the street and between graves. The tobacco-growing frenzy was so huge that colonists in the South had to import some of their foodstuffs at first, for they were not able to grow it themselves with all their land being used for tobacco. Because the crop of tobacco robs the soil of its nutrients so quickly, the demand for land exponentially increased, which led to an increased need for workers, preferably cheap, which is when wealthy planters turned to slavery. In comparison, the land in the Northern colonies was mostly glaciated soil, with stones in the dirt forced to the surface after every winter. Because of the rocky soil, staple crops did not... [continues]
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