During the 1500's to 1800's, the strength and stature of a
country depended upon its political power, which can be traced to how
self-sufficient it was. Striving to be self-sufficient was what
nations sought after; dependency was not a characteristic of a
powerful nation. Raw materials were the most required item to
strengthen the central government, and deter interactions, such as
trade with other nations. The first country to introduce mercantilism
in America was Spain. The spanish american colonies were not allowed
to trade directly with Europe. Instead they had to funnel all of the
sugar and tobacco, two common commdities of the new land, through

Spain. When this was done, heavy custom duties were imposed and the
central government gained. Spanish American colonies were forced into
providing precious metals and raw materials to the mother country.

These colonies existed only to enrich spain, even if the economic
policies adversly effected the well-being of the colonies. This grip
caused the central economy of Spain to grow at the expense of the
colonies. During the duration of this period, the 1500's through the

1700's, mercantilism had a major effect on the economies in the new
world. English speaking colonies were effected by England's policies
and acts. These policies and acts were means of controling the economy
of the colonies in America and strengthen the central government of

England. Dutch traders had the commercial vessel market well cornered
in the 1640's. It was very difficult for English colonies to compete
with the Dutch. With owning 75 percent of Northern Europes' vessels,
being well-financed and experienced, the Dutch were going to stay in
control of the market unless European Parliament intervined. In 1651
the European parliament enacted the first Navigation Act to undercut
the Dutches domination. England was hoping that this Act would exclude
the Dutch from trade with the English and force its own merchant
marine to grow. This act was the first attempt to enforce
merchantilism by England. The act proclaimed that all trade between

France and English colonies, Europe and English colonies, and the
colonies with themselves must be conducted on an english ship
(Kurland). The British were hoping that this would boost the economy
and expand the mercant marine. The failure of this act was caused by
inadequate machinery to enforce the law. The english colonies publicly
defied the act and kept on trading with the Dutch. The restoration of

Charles II brought about major changes in 1660. All of the acts of the

Commonwealth Parliament, including the Navigation Act of 1651, were
considered illigal under his rule (Kurland). Charles II did not intend
on doing away with the act, but revising it. The Navigation Act of

1660 was a restatement of the 1651 act, but it also established a list
of items including: tobacco, cotton, wool, and indigo, that couldn't
be shipped outside of the British empire (Barck and Lefler). This Act
made the english colonies frusterated for they could get a higher
price for these items outside of the british empire. The Navigation

Act worked as a disadvantage to the colonies, but helped the central
economy and government of the british by excluding such raw materials
from trade to other countries. The Staple Act of 1663 was an offshoot
of the Navigation Acts. It stated that all European goods bound for
the American colonies must first land at an english port and then be
reshipped to America in English vessels (Kurland). The British would
benefit from this act by imposing custom duties on goods, which cost
would be passed to the american consumer. The english merchants would
profit from handling, insurance, and shipping fees. This Act also
provided for a naval officer in all colonial ports to insure the
upholding of the mercantile law. From the American stand point, the

Staple Act meant higher prices and a blatant attempt of the British to
exploit America for the benefit of the english merchants. There was no
need for the Staple Act to be passed. The Act served no other purpose
other than the enrichment of the British people and strengthening of
the central government. Another example of the British trying to exert
control over America was with the Molasses Act of 1733. This Act
imposed a duty of nine pence per gallon on rum, six pence per gallon
on molasses, and five shillings per hundredweight of sugar imported
from French or Spanish colonies. The was no tax put on british rum,
molasses, or sugar imported from British Colonies. The British, trying
to control the american colonies, were largely ineffective. The act
was vastly ignored by the Americans. The Americans were not going to
obey a law passed by