The major economy of the Southern Colonies was agriculture, represented by massive plantations of cotton, rice, indigo and tobacco. Slavery played an important part in the economy of the Southern Colonies, as African slaves were used to work the land.
The vast plains of the Southern Colonies made it possible for immense plantations to develop. Many of the Southern plantations consisted of a main house and the slave quarters, with other buildings including laundry rooms, blacksmith's shops, barns for storing the crop and smokehouses. Many of the crops were exported or traded for goods that could not be produced on the plantations, including lace, dishes and shoes.