English Colonies in an Age of Empires

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The American Journey
A History of the United States
Chapter 4
Economic Development and the Imperial Trade in British Colonies The British leaders came to see the colonies as indispensable. Raw materials were shipped from the colonies back to the mother county. To improve its competitive position in the transatlantic trade, England adopted the policy of mercantilism, consisting of several, but four major regulations. This policy proved beneficial for them and colonial economies grew in tandem with Great Britain. The first regulation ended Dutch dominance in overseas trade was named the Navigation Act of 1651. This act required all trade in the empire to be conducted in English or colonial ships. The second stipulated that certain colonial goods could only be shipped to England or another English Colony. The third and fourth regulations further enhanced the advantage of English manufacturers who produced for the colonial market by subsidizing certain goods. This allowed the colonies and cities to grow and become more profitable. It also allowed the rich to become richer and the poor became poorer. The Transformation of Culture

Many influential settlers worried that America remained culturally inferior to Great Britain. This led to the British elites building grand houses and filling them with British imported goods, thus making it more consistent with the British gentry. Colonists imported “courtesy books” which contained rules of polite behavior, the practice of personal cleanliness, social ranking in society, and information about respecting other people’s feelings, traits all trait exhibited by the English. Some colonists even reshaped their religious beliefs, from strictly Puritans to Anglican and eventually others chose their right to the right to exercise their religious choice. The Colonial Political World

Religion also fostered the development and progression of politics. When James II became King, he decided to take control over the...
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