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Information about Mercantilism

Published on January 18, 2008

Author: Susann


Mercantilism:  Mercantilism Beginning around 1650, the British government pursued a policy of mercantilism in international trade. Mercantilism:  Mercantilism To achieve this balance of trade, the English passed laws exclusively benefiting the British economy. These laws created a trade system whereby Americans provided raw goods to Britain, and Britain used the raw goods to produce manufactured goods that were sold in European markets and back to the colonies. Mercantilism:  Mercantilism As suppliers of raw goods only, the colonies could not compete with Britain in manufacturing. English ships and merchants were always favored, excluding other countries from sharing in the British Empire’s wealth Navigation Acts:  Navigation Acts Between 1651 and 1673, the English Parliament passed four Navigation Acts meant to ensure the proper mercantilist trade balance. The Navigation Acts Stated the Following::  The Navigation Acts Stated the Following: Only English or English colonial ships could carry cargo between imperial ports. Certain goods, including tobacco, rice, and furs, could not be shipped to foreign nations except through England or Scotland. The English Parliament would pay “bounties” to Americans who produced certain raw goods, while raising protectionist tariffs on the same goods produced in other nations. Americans could not compete with English manufacturers in large-scale manufacturing. ` Navigation Acts:  Navigation Acts The Navigation Acts severely restricted colonial trade, to the benefit of England. Were these Navigation Acts Enforced?:  Were these Navigation Acts Enforced? England developed a policy of salutary neglect toward the colonies, which meant that the trade laws that most hurt the colonial economy were not enforced. Why Were the Acts not Enforced?:  Why Were the Acts not Enforced? With the prospect of war against the French looming, the British employed salutary neglect to maintain the colonists’ loyalty. Triangular Trade:  Triangular Trade British mercantilism manifested itself in the form of the triangular trade. Trade routes linked the American Colonies, West Indies, Africa, and England. Triangular Trade:  Triangular Trade New England rum was shipped to Africa and traded for slaves, which were brought to the West Indies and traded for sugar and molasses, which went back to New England. Other raw goods were shipped from the colonies to England, where they were swapped for a cargo of manufactured goods. Mercantilism and Triangular Trade:  Mercantilism and Triangular Trade Mercantilism and the triangular trade proved quite profitable for New England tradesmen and ship builders. But in the Southern Colonies, where the Navigation Acts vastly lowered tobacco prices, economies suffered. Increase in Slaves:  Increase in Slaves The triangular trade also spurred a rise in the slave population and increased the merchant population, forming a class of wealthy elites that dominated trade and politics throughout the colonies. Take a Quick Quiz:  Take a Quick Quiz

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