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By SmartTalia Sep 19, 2013 722 Words
All throughout the 1600s, the British Empire began to advance. One of the profound reasons for their development was the policies they enforced such as Mercantilism, Navigation Acts, and Salutary Neglect. Throughout this paper my partner and I will analyze these three significant policies enacted by the British Empire over their colonies. The most important policy that was enforced by the British upon its colonies was Salutary Neglect. Salutary Neglect means not to enforce laws or to not be as strict to follow the law. It was meant to keep the American Colonies obedient to Great Britain and it was an essential part in forming the colonies so Britain could run them as they best saw fit. This was the most important in allowing England to advance because it kept the colonies compliant. If they weren’t obedient then it would have been almost impossible for England to get them abide by the beliefs of Mercantilism as well as the Navigation Acts. If the colonies felt as if they were being tread unfairly with no choice it would have been a great difficulty for Britain to control them all and force them to continue producing. Due to the fact that the colonies were working harder for England’s benefit rather than themselves in reality. With Salutary Neglect it gave the colonies a sense of choice because they were allowed considerable freedom in economic matters. Thereby, making Mercantilism and the rules of the Navigation Acts easier to enforce, because of the cooperation of the colonies from the policy of Salutary Neglect which took place for 70 years. The Navigation Acts of 1660 and 1696 were rules that restricted American Trade. This is the second most important policy that the British enacted over their colonies. The rules were that 1. Only British ships could transport and export goods from the colonies 2. The only people who were allowed to trade with the colonies had to be British citizens 3. Commodities such as sugar, tobacco, cotton wool which were produced in the colonies could be exported only to British ports. This was important because it gave the British full control over the goods that the colonies were producing; it allowed them to have more power. This policy was more important than Mercantilism because without this policy Mercantilism would’ve been unorganized, Navigation Acts made Mercantilism more successful because it supported the system. The Navigation Acts prevented trade with colonies that England thought of as a threat, therefore cutting off the competition and allowing England to become wealthier. In the 17th and 18th century England's economy depended on trade. The outcome of this was an economic system called Mercantilism. Mercantilism was based on the benefits of profitable trading. From the earliest days of English colonial development, salutary neglect and mercantilism have flawed the relationship between the Colonist and England. Mercantilism is the least important policy because when England attempted to end salutary neglect & reinstate mercantilist relationship, colonists rebelled. Without salutary neglect in the 17th and 18th century, the colonies wouldn’t have been obedient and if the British didn’t enforce navigation acts, it would be harder for mercantilism because then everything wouldn’t have gone through British evaluation. Britain also passed unjust laws and many different acts upon the colonists to keep their loyalty towards them. Although, Mercantilism was an important policy that allowed England to keep growing, without policies like the Navigation Act and Salutary Neglect, Mercantilism would have fell short. In conclusion, my partner and I think that the policies are ranked from Mercantilism being the least important to Salutary Neglect being the most important. The Policy of Salutary Neglect helped keep the colonies loyal to England. This was proved to be the foundation of England’s success in trading because when they reversed the policy it led to important events like the Boston Tea Party & the American Revolution. The Navigation Acts were an attempt to put the theory of Mercantilism into practice in the British colonies. The object of mercantilism was to minimize imports that cost the nation money, and maximize exports that made the nation money. Colonies were there for England’s benefit and to help them become so rich due to trading. These policies that were put in place many years ago have a lot to do with shaping history along with the way things are today.

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