Thesis: Navigation Acts

Sample Thesis Paper

In the 1600 the English passed a series of laws known as the Navigation Acts which restricted the use of foreign shipping to trade between England and its colonies. This was mainly done to limit Dutch merchants from trading with its colonies and allowed England to be the main hub for all colonial products. These acts though bringing Britain great wealth caused great resentment in the colonies. This was so because the laws restricted the ability of the colonies to trade with anyone but the English, with these in effect it decreased their power to be independent of the Royal Court. Thus these Mercantilist policies were refused by the colonies as they saw it as a control over their economies and their government. In order to avoid heavy taxes and regulations the colonies resorted to smuggling their goods. The loss of much wealth led the British to enact the writ of assistance which enabled officers to freely search citizens and homes which were suspected of smuggling. The colonists found this to be a violation of their civil rights as citizens of the crown.

One of the main ways that smugglers from the colonies operated was the selling tea to the American colonies. Originally the tea came from England through the East India Company, however when Benjamin Franklin suggested that the company bypass England and deal with the colonists directly, the smugglers lost their source of income. In rebellion they tossed 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor. This led to the Boston Port Act through which Britain closed down Boston harbor until the tea was paid for.

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