Not all aspects of mercantilism were bad for the colonies. Since England needed certain products to maintain her navy, she offered special payments to producers of naval stores. Thus, bounties were paid for tar, pitch, resin, turpentine, hemp, lumber, and indigo. Between 1761 and 1776, these special bounties cost England £120,000.
The Effects of Mercantile Laws on the Colonies
England’s mercantile laws certainly made life more difficult for the colonists. “A colonist cannot make button, horseshoe, nor a hob nail,” one outspoken Bostonian complained, “but some sooty iron- manufacturer or respectable button maker of Britain shall bawl…that he is most terribly cheated and robbed by the rascally Americans.” Nevertheless, the best way to examine just how seriously the colonial laws hurt the colonies, we need to take a careful look at the each of the three major groupings of colonies, New England, Middle, and Southern.