Us History

Topics: United Kingdom, Economic development, Economics Pages: 2 (466 words) Published: September 10, 2012
APUSH Essay: To what extent did mercantilism affect the political and economic development of England’s 13 American colonies?
Great Britain imposed the mercantilist ideals on the 13 American colonies in the 17th century with one single purpose, creating wealth for itself, which equaled to military and political power. Britain did that by implementing various policies and acts, regulating the trade and production of the colonies. Generally, mercantilism caused more harm than good in the political and economic developments of the colonies. The colonial economy was greatly affected in a negative light and while the colonies was under political control of England, resentment arose, which was one of the factors contributed to the Revolution in the 18th century.

Like said, Britain goal was to achieve economic and military self-sufficiency. So, the British Parliament imposed several acts, one of them was the Navigation Act. Under this act, the raw material such as tobacco and beaver fur cultivated in America must be exported to Britain for production and only British manufactured goods could be imported in America. This worked great for Britain, however, not for the colonial economy in the long run. At first, this act was beneficial to both the parties, Britain could manufacture the material and sell to other countries for great wealth and the colonies had a stable market for exporting. But, as time went on, the prolific tobacco cultivation became too large for the British market to accommodate, thus, the price went down and the colonial farmers lost money. The economy, which was based on these stable crops such as tobacco was in downfall. Furthermore, the colonies could only imported British-made goods, which were highly priced due to taxes and cost of production and transported. Lastly, the colonies were forced to issue large amount of money due to the lack of currency, which led to inflation; the money had little value. So, due to mercantilism, the income...
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