Why did the colonists resent mercantilism so much? 

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Mercantilism was the dominant economic paradigm of its era and a critical influence in shaping American colonization. Ultimately, mercantilist theory tended to view economics as a zero-sum game. Its advocates argued for governmental regulation of the economy. They argued that by controlling its imports and exports, a country could maximize its wealth (while denying that wealth to rival powers).

From a mercantilist mindset, the colonies were seen primarily as a means to an end (existing for the benefit of the mother country). At this point, I think you should recognize that there was likely a kind of tension at play between political identity and economic self-interest. Remember, the colonists tended to view themselves as English citizens. With that in mind, the idea that their own interests should be aligned with England's interests might not have been quite so unpopular as this question would assume (especially in periods of conflict or war). However, despite these political...

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