The Colonial Economy

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How did loyalists react to the Navigation Acts?

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The Navigation Acts refers to many different laws regarding trade with foreign merchants.  These laws were made by the British to prevent trade by nearby countries and to promote exclusivity.  The Navigation Acts were passed in the middle of the 17th century, and they were not reversed until the 19th...

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The Navigation Acts refers to many different laws regarding trade with foreign merchants.  These laws were made by the British to prevent trade by nearby countries and to promote exclusivity.  The Navigation Acts were passed in the middle of the 17th century, and they were not reversed until the 19th century.  Those living in the Thirteen British Colonies were prohibited from trading with Dutch, French, or Spanish merchants according to the laws.

In 1764, the Sugar Act was passed.  It was passed to enforce a tax on molasses.  It also required that some goods could only be sold to Britain.  The economy was weak in the Thirteen Colonies at the time, and the Sugar Act caused feelings of unrest.  Many colonists disagreed with the law.  Colonists who would later become Patriots were vocal protestors of the Sugar Act.  

The Sugar Act most directly impacted merchants and those who were traders on ships.  Many loyalists who worked in these industries disagreed with the Sugar Act.  Though they were loyal to the King, they did not agree with the law.  The loyalists, however, were less vocal protestors.

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