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During the 1500s to 1800s the strength and stature of a country dependedupon its political power which can be traced to how self-sufficient itwas Striving to be self-sufficient was what nations sought afterdependency was not a characteristic of a powerful nation Raw materialswere the most required item to strengthen the central government and deterinteractions such as trade with other nations The first country tointroduce mercantilism in America was Spain The spanish american colonieswere not allowed to trade directly with Europe Instead they had to funnelall of the sugar and tobacco two common commdities of the new landthrough Spain When this was done heavy custom duties were imposed andthe central government gained Spanish American colonies were forced intoproviding precious metals and raw materials to the mother country Thesecolonies existed only to enrich spain even if the economic policiesadversly effected the well-being of the colonies This grip caused thecentral economy of Spain to grow at the expense of the colonies Duringthe duration of this period the 1500s through the 1700s mercantilismhad a major effect on the economies in the new world English speakingcolonies were effected by Englands policies and acts These policies andacts were means of controling the economy of the colonies in America andstrengthen the central government of England Dutch traders had the commercial vessel market well cornered in the 1640s It was very difficult for English colonies to compete with the Dutch With owning 75 percent of Northern Europes vessels being well-financedand experienced the Dutch were going to stay in control of the marketunless European Parliament intervined In 1651 the European parliamentenacted the first Navigation Act to undercut the Dutches domination England was hoping that this Act would exclude the Dutch from trade withthe English and force its own merchant marine to grow This act was thefirst attempt to enforce merchantilism by England The act proclaimed thatall trade between France and English colonies Europe and English coloniesand the colonies with themselves must be conducted on
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