European Colonization of North America

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Was colonialism in America profitable for Britain?

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Colonialism in America was quite profitable for Britain. First, in terms of people, the American colonies were an attractive dumping ground for the poor, petty criminals, or religious dissenters. The money saved by not having to persecute these people in the mother country made the colonies quite lucrative.

Secondly, one...

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Colonialism in America was quite profitable for Britain. First, in terms of people, the American colonies were an attractive dumping ground for the poor, petty criminals, or religious dissenters. The money saved by not having to persecute these people in the mother country made the colonies quite lucrative.

Secondly, one should consider the valuable products brought from the colonies. Virginian tobacco was popular all over the world and made British investors a great deal of money. Timber from the colonies also helped to create British ships at a time when the British navy was expanding. American foodstuffs and pelts also found their way to British markets where they were readily bought.

Thirdly, the American colonies were profitable in that they provided yet another outlet to sell British goods. It was hoped that Americans would become successful enough to buy British tea and manufactured goods. These goods would then in turn help to maintain close ties to the mother country.

While the profitability of the colonies would drop as Britain had to send more redcoats for colonial defense, the colonies would be quite profitable to Britain for most of the time that it possessed them.

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