Virginia and Maryland were the two colonies where tobacco was the most important crop from an economic point of view. The cultivation of crops such as wheat and corn was unsuccessful in these colonies. In 1612, John Rolfe discovered that the cultivation of tobacco was well suited to Virginia.
The colonists of Jamestown followed in the footsteps of John Rolfe and began tobacco plantations of their own. It soon became their main source of trade and export as there was a great demand for tobacco in England. The idea soon spread across other colonies and tobacco became a currency, much like gold or silver.