How did the Navigation Acts benefit England?


Quick Answer

The Navigation Acts benefited England because they helped England to build and promote industry thanks to the imported taxes. It also created new jobs for dock workers from England who needed to oversee the Acts.

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Full Answer

The Navigation Acts are an excellent example of mercantilism, which is one of the policies that the British government began to employ with the colonists in the 1600s. The British actually passed a series of four Navigation Acts from 1651 to 1673. The Navigation Acts essentially forced the colonists to give up their trade with other countries, as only English ships could distribute cargo between ports and certain goods could not even be shipped to other ports including rice and tobacco. The tariffs placed on the goods made it virtually impossible for the colonists to compete with European manufacturing.

While the colonists were unhappy with the rules, they only complained to the English parliament at first. However, when the complaints did not yield results or even discussions about the new laws, the colonists took matters into their own hands. They began smuggling and started to work around the new laws. The English parliament decided to enact salutary neglect in this situation and ignored the transgressions. Parliament decided to only enforce sanctions and tariffs that were the most beneficial to England while ignoring the others.

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