The Practice and Politics of Fiat Finance: North Carolina in the Confederation, 1783-1789

By James R. Morrill | Go to book overview
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I. The North Carolina Economy

The period immediately following the end of the Revolution was one of recovery and adjustment for the North Carolina economy: recovery from the destructiveness and disruption that the war had imposed upon agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce; and adjustment to the new conditions of trade brought about by the state's political and economic independence. North Carolina's agricultural production revived rapidly, and during the postwar years the state's exports reached unprecedented proportions.1. The amount of corn exported in 1788, for example, totaled nearly 160,000 bushels, compared to 127,000 bushels in 1768; 16,000 bushels of peas left the state's ports in 1788, compared to less than 3,000 bushels in 1768. Wheat exports declined after the war, but

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1.
Charles Christopher Crittenden, The Commerce of North Carolina, 1763-1789 ( "Yale Historical Publications," No. 29 [ New Haven: Yale University Press, 1936]), pp. 157-58. The statistics and general conclusions regarding exports, imports, and tonnage which are cited above, pp. 3-4 are found ibid., pp. 160-61. Detailed statistics on North Carolina exports are in the British Public Records (photostats), Southern Historical Collection, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Detailed information regarding exports, imports, clearances, and entrances for the postwar period is in the Treasurers' and Comptrollers' Papers, Ports, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. For contemporary comments upon North Carolina exports see William Attmore , Journal of a Tour to North Carolina, ed. by Lida Tunstall Rodman ( "The James Sprunt Historical Publications," Vol. 17, No. 2 [ Chapel Hill: North Carolina Historical Society, 1922]), p. 29and passim; and Robert Hunter Jr., Quebec to Carolina in 1785-1786, ed. by Louis B. Wright and Marion Tinling ( San Marino: Huntington Library, 1943), p. 266 and passim. For treatment of exports and general economic conditions during the late colonial period see Harry Roy Merrens, Colonial North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in Historical Geography ( Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1964) and Lawrence Lee, The Lower Cape Fear in Colonial Days ( Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1965).

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