OCTOBER 27–29, 1995 • THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY
The Economy of Early British America: The Domestic Sector is a conference designed to address the most important unresolved question about the first half of United States economic history—the extent of the contribution made to the economy of early British America by the domestic sector
The goal of the meeting is to achieve a better understanding of the nature and structure of the colonial economy by developing a set of first estimates of colonial GNP based on figures grounded in the economy’s performance. A reasonable approximation of one of the major components of the continental colonies’ gross national product—foreign trade—already exists. The conference’s challenge lies in making work being done on other subjects yield estimates of domestic capital formation, government purchases of goods and services, and expenditures for personal consumption of goods and services. Combined with the data on foreign trade, the total of such estimates will permit scholars to begin calculating national income accounts for the colonies. By encouraging and, perhaps, redirecting the work of early American economic historians along these lines, The Economy of Early British America: The Domestic Sector aims for a clearer understanding of how the colonial economy changed over time and the regional and sectional variations that its development involved.