The early English and French settlers in the 17th century thrived on the production of tobacco in the Caribbean before the introduction of sugar. Tobacco had a long history from its usages in the early Americas and became increasingly popular with the arrivals of the Europeans by whom it was heavily traded. According to ''The Caribbean People, Book 3'', 'Tobacco had already been used in the Americas by the time European settlers arrived and introduced the practice to Europe where it became popular. The habit of smoking tobacco was introduced to the Europeans by the Tainos on Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the Indies.''
Tobacco was the first crop grown for money and was termed as the ''cash crop'' of the 17th century. Caribbean soil was fully utilized in the cultivation of this ''cash crop'' and for a short period of time, satisfied the conditions necessary for large scale production. This was so because the smoking of tobacco became fashionable and eventually a habit in Europe transitioning itself into a ready-market product.
This caused it to produce the greatest profit of all commodities that was produced adding to the fact that it was easy to be stored, preserved and cultivated. It was grown on small plots of land therefore it did not require a large labor force and curing and preserving it was simple so large capital expenditure was not need for the purchase of heavy machinery, buildings and livestock needed to cultivate crops.
Tobacco was an integral part of the success and wealth of the Colonies. The introduction of tobacco in the early 1600's was the needed crop to make the colony successful. Tobacco was originally grown in both the Caribbean and Virginia. It was the cash crop for plantation owners.
However the tobacco grown in Virginia eventually ended it in the Caribbean.