Chapter 4 Study Guide
Why did England’s leaders see the colonies as indispensable?
Colonies supplied raw materials unavailable in the mother country, and colonists and
Indians provided a healthy market for English manufactured goods.
What four types of regulation were used to put mercantilism “into action?”
1)The first type of regulation aimed at ending Dutch dominance in England’s overseas
trade. Beginning with the Navigation Act of 1651, all trade in the empire had to be
conducted in English or colonial ships, wth crews of which at least half were Englishmen
or colonists. The act stimulated rapid growth in both England’s merchant marine and
New England’s shipping industry. Shipbuilding and earnings from what was called the
carrying trade soon became the most profitable sector of New England’s economy.
2) The second type of legislation stipulated certain colonial goods, called enumerated
products, could be shipped only to England or to another English colony. These goods
initially included tobacco, sugar, indigo, and cotton; other products, such as rice, were
added later. These laws also required European goods to pass through England before
they could be shipped to the colonies. When these goods entered English ports, they were
taxed, making them more expensive and encouraging colonists to buy English-made
3&4) Enhanced the advantage of English manufacturers who produced for the colonial
market. Parliament subsidized certain goods, including linen, gunpowder, and silks, to
allow manufacturers to undersell European competitors in the colonies. Other laws
protected English manufacturers from colonial competition by prohibiting colonists from
manufacturing wool, felt hats, and iron on a large scale.
How did the colonies fare under these regulations?
Although some tobacco and rice planters complained about trade restraints, the colonies
as a whole prospered. Between 1650 and 1770, the colonial economy expanded twice as
fast as England’s. Colonist’s enjoyed protected markets for their staple crops and low
prices on English imports. Colonial merchants, operating on equal terms with English
traders, took full advantage of commercial opportunities within the empire.
What were the most valuable colonial products?
Sugar from the West Indies, Tobacco from Chesapeake, Rice from Lower South, Grain
from Middle Colonies, Fish from New England
What did the colonies import from England?
By the late 1760s, over $4million worth of English manufactured goods flowed into the
colonies each year. This import trade satisfied a demand for items that could not be
produced; at least not cheaply in North America. Bales of English cloth and leather,
crates of glassware and pottery, casks of nails and lead shot piled onto the wharves of
Philadelphia and New York. Dockworkers emptied ships’ holds of wrought iron, brass,
and copper, barrels of refined sugar, and bundles of beaver hats. Some of there goods-
ironware, sugar, hats-were made of raw materials from the colonies.