Prelim 2 article notes - Robert Paul Thomas What is the...

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Robert Paul Thomas What is the extent of burdens and benefits of English imperial regulation of colonial foreign commerce? - Focus on Navigation Acts only o Hypothesis is that British empire, after 1763, did not impose significant hardship upon American colonies. o To explore question, historic data must be compared to model of how colonies would have faired outside the Empire but still within a mercantilist world o Belonging to British Empire was superior than others; French, Spanish Was wealthiest, most populace colonial empire in the world o French and Indian war ended menace of French and Spanish through cession of Canada and Florida to Spain By removing foreign threat, American revolution for independence became inevitable Colonies no longer need protection of English military o Trade with Great Britain and Ireland= 50% of colonial exports GB was most important customer and supplier to C o Commercial system made up of four types of laws 1. Regulating nationality, crews and ownership of trade ships Designed to insure monopoly of empire ships carrying trade goods of empire Helped revenues stay within empire Kept England the “entrepot” of the empire, center of trade and distribution 2. Regulating destination to which certain goods could be shipped Originally tobacco, sugar, indigo, cotton/wool, dyewoods could only be shipped to GB o Later included naval stores, rice, molasses, beaver skins, fur, copper ore o Sugar Act added more, like coffee 3. Laws to encourage specific primary industries via an elaborate system of rebates, drawbacks, import/export bounties, and export taxes
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In interest of self sufficiency of empire Gave substantial advantage in markets of mother country, GB would re- export many goods Foreign goods coming to GB market were disadvantaged Legislation gave monopoly in GB market to tobacco, naval stores, sugar and sugar products 4. Direct prohibition of colonial industries and practices that compete with English industries or sectors of GB economy, or economy of another colony. o Colonists disadvantaged since many exports heading to other places had to funnel through England Colonial imports made more expensive C exports made less remunerative by increased transportation costs Less efficient use of market resources - Exports of C products o Would be more valuable if C were independent Costs of re-exporting from GB are lost from export value C producers forced to sell at below world market prices Dead weight loss to both producers and consumers of goods whose final destination is not GB, amount depending on S/D elasticity’s of each product o P of tobacco would have been 49% higher Planters suffered significant burden o P of rice would have been 105% higher o Those two bore highest burden o C benefits are from goods that would be sent to GB anyway Also bounties, subsidies, benefit C
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2009 for the course ECON 3230 taught by Professor Tomlyons during the Fall '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Prelim 2 article notes - Robert Paul Thomas What is the...

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