The Intolerable Acts (the Coercive Acts)

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How did the Navigation Acts impact the thirteen American colonies?

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The Navigation Acts were British laws passed to restrict trade to and from Britain. They were protectionist laws, seeking to keep British products exclusively transported in British ships and to restrict monetary losses to foreign powers through trade. This meant that the thirteen colonies were not able to trade with other colonies or colonial powers, often making the prices they had to pay for goods much higher. For instance, sugar and molasses, two goods specifically covered by the Navigation Acts, were much cheaper when purchased from the Dutch East Indies than from the British East Indies.

The thirteen colonies responded to these acts by smuggling goods from cheaper sources, which enraged Britain, causing it to increase policing of the colonists. The acts and their strict enforcement led to a large amount of political resistance to Britain, which contributed significantly to the beginning of the American Revolution.

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