Mercantilism: An Economic Theory Of Tensions Among Colonists

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Mercantilism was an economic theory that first developed in the 1500s and extended to the late 1800s. This theory was espoused by European powers. This period of time caused tensions among colonists and caused some to feel more independent, however, the system provided for the intake of more gold so it was implemented everywhere. To fully understand the impact of mercantilism it is key to understand what mercantilism is, how the different powers implemented the theory, and the impact it created among colonists. The economic theory called mercantilism has several scenarios of explanation. Firstly, mercantilism produced a high monopoly on high-demand goods. In other words, there was exclusive control over products that were worth more in the…show more content…
London had lords of trade who oversaw most colonial activities, while colonies themselves had customs officers who enforced navigation acts and collected taxes. However, through British mercantilism England grew very wealthy causing the Dutch to be dislodged as the leading power in the Atlantic trade world. The colonies began to feel restricted because others around them were more free, while colonial markets were restricted. Colonial manufacturing was reduced along with gold and silver coinage. These restrictions caused an increase in smuggling ventures, and tensions arose between colonists and British officials. One of the navigation acts that was placed to control smuggling was the Plantation Duty Act. The act was placed in 1673 and required colonial ships to guarantee the delivery of enumerated good to England. If this was not followed they would suffer financial penalties. Through this act the colonial arm of English customs offices was also created. Other acts were implied before and after the Plantation Duty Act, but the last navigation act placed, the American Revenue Act, was a final attempt to control tensions and control smuggling. It instituted new policies to increase revenue on imported

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