Mercantile Policy in the Colonies

Before 1763, British mercantilist policy while restricting colonial economic development allowed colonial political life to develop unhampered by the Mother Country.  

Prior to 1763, the main focus of the British government was to control the economic development of the colonies.   Britain’s singular focus was the open door for the unhampered growth of colonial political life.   While the British government was occupied with passing numerous tax laws and trade restrictions, the colonists were free to assemble, develop the political ideals of a nation and unite.  
The tax and trade restrictions imposed by the British government exemplified the 18th C. European concept of mercantilism:   An economic system to increase a nation’s wealth by government regulation of all of the nation’s commercial interests.   The acquisition of the colonies was a tremendous opportunity for Britain to gain significant economic power.   In pursuit of this goal, the British government enacted the Navigation Acts, a series of limitations on colonial economic development.   In 1651, the British government required all goods transported to England and the colonies to be carried on English-made ships.   The Act’s effect was to limit colonial trading to and through England.   In 1660 Act was renewed and added further limitations to the British chokehold on colonial commerce.   Added provisions included a requirement that ships’ crews need to be 75% English and that colonial production of tobacco, sugar and cotton   had to be shipped from the colonies to England or to other English colonies.   The final part of the Navigation Acts was the 1663 laws which necessitated the routing of European goods to England first and then to the colonies.   Taxes on the goods were levied in England and then again in the colonies.   The 1663 addition served to reinforce England’s goal to make it, the Mother Country, the sole trading partner of the colonies and the beneficiary of the enormous revenue being generated...