A$!@N asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Why did Parliament pass the Navigation Acts?

1. Why did Parliament pass the Navigation Acts?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The Navigation Acts were a series of Parliamentary laws passed to control the trade of England’s colonies. The original laws were enacted as a response to the success of Dutch shipping. Unfortunately, the Navigation Acts had economic impact on the fledgling American colonies. During a period of one hundred twenty-two years Parliament, with the monarch’s (or Lord Protector’s) consent, passed a series of different Maritime Laws. The first law was enacted in 1651 under Cromwell’s reign. Another act was passed September 12, 1660, the third in 1663 and the fourth, and most restrictive in 1696. Another attempt at controlling the colonies’ trade was instituted in 1670 and, perhaps, the straw that broke the camels back, the Molasses Act of 1773.

    The Navigation Act of 1651 was a response to the continued growth of Dutch international shipping and trade. In fact, this law caused two brief wars with the Low Land nation. The law stated all goods shipped to and from all lands belonging to the British Empire must be carried by British vessels. Furthermore, certain non-finished goods must be first shipped to England under the English flag on crafts built in England of, primarily, English parts. In short, this act restricted the colonies to one trading partner, England. While the law stated severe penalties for breeching the code it was loosely enforced. What the Navigation Act of 1651 actually did was reinforce the American (and British) art of smuggling.

    The Navigation Act of 1663 restated the goals and limits of the prior laws. Yet this law gave something back to the colonies. The Act of 1663 forbade the growth of tobacco in England. Additionally, for certain unfinished goods the Colonies enjoyed a monopoly with their mother country. Despite these guarantees, the Colonists objected to these laws and all of its subsequent incarnations.

    The colonist’s objections were two-fold. Emotionally, the Americans viewed themselves as Englishmen, no more and no less then a person from London, Liverpool or Bath. These laws separated them from their British brethren. To them it was a display by the Crown and Parliament of their second-class regard. Secondly, these laws went against the North Americans’ sense of commerce. Establishing the colonies in America was costly to the settlers and their offspring. Frankly, it was dangerous and hard work. This strife was born because of opportunity. The Colonists saw these laws as limiting opportunity. Their “pursuit of happiness” was being thwarted by a capricious monarch.

  • 4 years ago

    To protect and restrict trade with England - goods were required to be shipped on British ships. "The English Navigation Acts were a series of laws that restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England (after 1707 Great Britain) and its colonies, a process which had started in 1651. Their goal was to force colonial development into lines favorable to England, and stop direct colonial trade with the Netherlands, France and other European countries. The original ordinance of 1651 was renewed at the Restoration by Acts of 1660 and 1663, and subsequently subject to minor amendment. These Acts also formed the basis for British overseas trade for nearly 200 years."

  • 4 years ago

    maybe so

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