The Colonial Economy

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Who benefits the most from mercantilism?

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First, a working definition of mercantilism: under mercantilism, a nation strives to export more than it imports and it hopes to hoard gold and silver as a result. In the case of the colonists under the leadership of Great Britain, they were to export their raw materials to the mother country and the mother country was to sell them finished products. In order to further streamline the process, Britain barred the colonists from trading certain goods with other countries and all British goods had to be shipped on British ships.

This led to a monopoly that favored the British government over the colonists. The colonists, capable of creating their own industries, were impeded by being told that all raw materials must be shipped to Great Britain. The colonists also had to take whatever Britain was willing to pay while Britain had access to the world's markets. All of this would lead to colonial resentment after the period of salutary neglect ended in 1763 with the ending of the Seven Years' War.

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