Teaos wrote:For the first century the East coast provided a lot of high quality old growth timber. But after that was gone the big money items were found elsewhere. America was sustainable but not profitable.
Seems odd to say not profitable, maybe because I've never once heard anyone say that. In fact its always been the other way around. That the US colonies had a great deal of money and asset value, being the reason England tried to tax the US colonies so heavily. The standards of living were well above that of the rest of the Empire, of that time at least since it didn't last. England sought to pull in as much of that money as possible to pay off the debts run up during the Seven Years War.
As to timber, that was never gone since there are still tree farms in Virginia to this day. As well as the fur and ship companies of the northern colonies along with the cotton and food suppliers of the southern colonies. In fact one of the laws that England passed and briefly attempted to enforce was a process tax on items produced in the US colonies shipped to England. This included clothes and even hats and furniture since people were buying from the colonies instead of from home grown (English) sources. Food taxes were placed to stop colony plantations from putting English ones out of business.
Recalling this, its more then a little silly to say the US colonies weren't profitable. More truthful is that the US colonies were TOO profitable and were impacting profits back in the homeland. Once things of better quality and quantity were available from the US colonies over English sources, the money flowed out of England rather then to it.