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American History Essay

The mercantilist system will eventually be cited as a reason for the American Revolution. However, this was not always the case. Define the mercantilist system and its effects on the colonies prior to 1760. Also, explain the initial colonial reaction to this system.| | The mercantilist system was basically a system acquired to have political control over the economy, to minimize imports that cost the nation money, and maximize exports that made the nation money. The British and Parliament wanted and created regulations on everything in the new colonies. They regulated everything from wages and agriculture subsides. They were forbidden to established tariff barriers in order to protect themselves from colonial industries. The mercantilist system was a regulatory system put into place to keep control and profits of the new colonies for the mother countries benefit. The mercantilist system on the colonies was to make sure that certain goods could only be transport to England, and to forbid other nations from doing business in the English colonies.

This resulted in a list of enumerated commodities that were only allowed to be transported to England. The list consisted of products of the southern slave colonies, the northern Indian trade, and essential products for supplying the shipping industry. The products were: sugar, molasses, rum, tobacco, rice, indigo, furs, pelt, skins, pine masts, tar, pitch, resin, and turpentine. These items were to be transported only by English vessel to England. The English also tried to enforce other limitations, which resulted in a series of enactments-including the Wool Act of 1699, the Hat Act of 1732, and the Iron Act of 1750. The prime minister encouraged lax enforcement of the manufacturing rules in the colonies, in part because they had their own effective systems, and as a result, colonists and British traders enjoyed wealth produced by slave labor, a new prosperity and feeling of goodwill that would last until the 1760s (Faragher, 2009).

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