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Mercantilism is an economic theory where a nations strength comes from building up gold supplies and expanding its trade Britain formed the American colonies so that they could increase their gold stores They wanted raw supplies to make into products to sell and make money They wanted America to pay taxes so that Britain could make money America used the theory in that they thought they ought to in order to be strong expand their trade beyond Britain Countries like Belgium and France wanted to also increase their trade and expand it to trading with America They also wanted to increase their gold stores by trading with America Britain however did not want America to trade with France and Belgium and the Netherlands because they wanted to increase their gold stores so they needed a monopoly over American trade So there was tension between Britain and its American colonies One of the first efforts made by Britain to control the American colonies was the Acts of Trade and Navigation What these acts did was limited American trade to basically just Britain These Acts were in place between 1650-1660 and they were there to ensure that the mercantile system that existed stayed It was mainly to prevent the Frenchmen and Dutch from receiving American goods The acts limited American shipping to be via Britain The British had to receive all American goods and them their merchants would sell the goods to other countries but America could not Any goods that were to be imported to the colonies had to be passed through British middlemen where a tax was added so that Britain would profit America was also forbidden to produce goods or grow crops for profit If they were to do that then they would be competing with British industries The colonies were supposed to also buy more than they sold so that their currency was drained but all to Britain Before 1663 when the Acts
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