British imperial regulations with the American colonies were closely tied in with the system of mercantilism. Mercantilism controls the relations between the leading power and the colonies under its empire. A nation would want to export more than it imports gaining more money to obtain economic stability. The colonies exist for the profit of the mother country.
Trade was a vital part of the economy of both England and the British colonies. The colonies would provide a majority of raw materials that would be shipped to England where then they would process raw materials into goods and sell them at markets provided by the colonies. Within this system both England and the colonies depended on each other for commerce. To further enforce this system on their oversees empire England enacted the Navigation Laws. In 1650 the first of these laws was aimed at keeping trade between the colonies limited only to their mother country, England. The law restricted trade of such shippers as the Dutch, by stating all goods must be transported on English vessels to or from the colonies. This helped keep money within British control, but also increased both England’s and the colonies’ merchant marine. Further laws were passed, but none that imposed strict regulations on the colonies. In fact the colonies received advantages from the mercantile system of England. As colonies of England they had the rights of Englishmen. They also had some opportunities of self-government. As compared economically to the average Englishmen of the time, the average American colonist was more often better off. In some markets, such as tobacco, the colonies had great advantages. Although not allowed to trade tobacco with any other country; they were guaranteed a monopoly on the English market. One of the major advantages of British imperialism was the protection supplied by the British army. With the strong soldiers providing defense against natives and other inter...
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