The Colonial Economy

By: Victoria Jankowski


Do you know what the economy is? It's a variety of things that include, indentured servants, livestock, and farming. Indentured servants had a hard life working for a long time, and they hardly got enough things to survive. Livestock was an important part of the economy because the animals produce many things, like food, materials, and services. Lastly, farming things was also very important because you had to plant food to survive. You need a lot of special tools to help you get started. Those three items are all part of the economy.

Indentured Servants

By agreeing to work for a period of years, indentured servants suffered with little food, clothes, and places to sleep. Most indentured servants had rights to follow. Many if their rights had to be approved by their masters. One of the rights was that they needed their masters permission it get married. It was against the law to get married without your masters permission. Indentured servants had many jobs they had to do, they had to wash clothes, do the dishes, collect things from animals, do the laundry, and many other thingsSome adults agreed to work for atleast 4-7 years. Teenagers and children worked for a longer time because they would get older and strong enough to work better. Servants were treated by how nice their master was. If the master was nice, the servant would get better things and could get married. If the master was not nice, you would've got a bad place to sleep, hardly any food, no marrige, and you had to work longer. Indentured servants had a hard life, but they paid it off to get a passage to a new life in America.


There were many livestock animals in the colonial days, and many of them produced foods, materials, and services. The livestock animals included cattle, hogs, poultry, sheep, horses, goats, oxen, ducks, and geese. Some people think that horses are not part of the livestock group because they don't produce anything. Actually horses produce a service for many adults and children to have a fun time riding one. All of these animals produce at least one material, or product. These products included fur, ( from most animals ) hair, leather, wool, milk, cheese, meat, butter, and eggs. Body wastes were used to make fertilizer for soil. Some of the glands and organs were made into medicine and alcohol. Animal fat was used to make soap and candles. Livestock was a very important part of the colonial economy. It kept us alive, helped us with things, and provided a variety of products, materials, and services.


Farmers need a lot of experience in farming, they want to grow good crops. In order to plant crops, farmers needed certain tools to help. Some of the tools they used were hoes, scythes, (has a long handle, and a survey blade with a sharp and non sharp side) mattocks, sickles, (pickax) wood plows, shovels, and spades. All tools have a use for something. The hoe cultivated corn, and tobacco. Scythes, and sickles were used for cutting grass, and grain. Mattocks were used for braking up soil, and cutting roots. Farmers also used their livestock for helping them with farming, and of they owned indentured servants. The oxen would help by pulling the wood plows for preparing the soil for planting. Indentured servants would also teach the farmers how to plant rice. Farming was really hard back then without knowing where or what to plant.


Indentured servants, livestock, and farming are an important part of the economy. Indentured servants eventually made it through their life to get a passage to America. They were brave enough to suffer at least 4-7 years working a hard life. Farming helped us a lot back in the colonial times because of the tools, and the crops that were grown. Livestock helped the colonial people because they produced products, materials, and services that helped us a lot. Indentured servants, livestock, and farming were all part of the economy, and they still are part of it today.


Book Sources :

Our Country Book

Internet Sources :

World Book Online : Colonial Life in America

About the Author

Victoria Jankowski is in 5th grade in the General Mclane School District. She loves to hunt with her dad, draw in her spare time, and hang with her friends almost every day. She likes the color blue and wolves. She also likes to sing. Her favorite tv shows are called The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf.