Mercantilism in England

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A final evaluation of the effects of British mercantilism on her American colonies must take into consideration the benefits of living in the British Empire, as well as the costs. The benefits included first and foremost the protection given colonial ships that sailed the world under the British flag, and the protection received from her mighty army. Secondly, the benefits can be measured by the bounties paid for producing necessary products. Against these assurances, the colonists need to weigh the added cost of all her imports resulting from the Staples Act even though consistent smuggling certainly reduced this price. Finally, the colonists would need to assess the restrictions on their exports, either under the enumerated list, or under the laws regulating export of iron, beaver hats, and woolen goods. A careful analysis of all these factors could provide some tentative answers and also help in judging the role these economic issues played in causing the American Revolution.

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