Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.4d - Money, Barter, and Credit

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by

d)  describing how money, barter, and credit were used.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


People have needs and wants that often exceed the limited resources that are available to them.

Resources are distributed unequally.

Due to the unequal distribution of resources, individuals must determine ways to meet their needs and wants. Money, barter, and credit are ways individuals try to obtain the resources they need.


Money was not often used in the early Virginia colony.

What forms of exchange were used in the Virginia colony?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Make connections between past and present. (VS.1e)

Terms to know

  • money: A medium of exchange (currency, which includes coins and paper bills)
  • barter: Trading or exchanging of goods and services without the use of money
  • credit: Buying a good or service now and paying for it later
  • debt: A good or service owed to someone
  • savings: Money put away to save or to spend at a later time

Few people had paper money or coins to use to buy goods and services.

Barter was commonly used instead of money.

Tobacco was used as money. A tobacco farmer could use his tobacco to pay for goods and services.

Farmers and other consumers could also buy goods and services on credit and pay their debts when their crops were harvested and sold.

Colonial Virginia had no banks.


Updated: Mar 09, 2018