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Economics in Colonial America- During the 1500s to 1800s the strength and stature of a country depended upon its political power which can be traced to how self-sufficient it was Striving to be self-sufficient was what nations sought after dependency was not a characteristic of a powerful nation Raw materials were the most required item to strengthen the central government and deter interactions such as trade with other nations The first country to introduce mercantilism in America was Spain The spanish american colonies were not allowed to trade directly with Europe Instead they had to funnel all of the sugar and tobacco two common commdities of the new land through Spain When this was done heavy custom duties were imposed and the central government gained Spanish American colonies were forced into providing precious metals and raw materials to the mother country These colonies existed only to enrich spain even if the economic policies adversly effected the well-being of the colonies This grip caused the central economy of Spain to grow at the expense of the colonies During the duration of this period the 1500s through the 1700s mercantilism had a major effect on the economies in the new world English speaking colonies were effected by Englands policies and acts These policies and acts were means of controling the economy of the colonies in America and strengthen 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-financed and experienced the Dutch were going to stay in control of the market unless European Parliament intervined In 1651 the European parliament enacted the first Navigation Act to undercut
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