Mercantilism- Connection to British and French Hostilities

Table of Content

In essence, Mercantilism is a set of ideas about the world economy and how it works. Mercantilists believed that a country’s wealth was measured by the amount of gold and silver it posessed and they believed that having a greater number of exports than imports will result in more gold and silver flowing into the country. In this system, the British colonies were moneymakers for the mother country. The British put restrictions on how their colonies spent their money so that they could control their economies. They put limits on what goods the colonies could produce, whose ships they could use, and most importantly, with whom they could trade. The British knew that the colonies were benefiting from goods from the Dutch, French, and Spanish, however. The French and Indian War put this delicate agreement to the test. Because the war was expensive, the British believed that colonists should help pay for it. They argued that they had protected the colonists from French and Indian threats. As a result, new taxes were levied by the British, which horrified the colonists. This was the stepping-stone to more hostility between the British and French as colonists were being associated with Backdoor trades with France in an effort to bypass the strict laws of the British.

Navigation Acts:

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

The Navigation Acts were a series of laws to control the colonial economy. They stipulated that colonial goods could not be traded to countries unless they were on British ships. The Navigation Acts also stated that all circulating goods have to go through English Ports as England was the “Mother Country. Lastly, the Navigation Acts created a board of trade which was a formal instiution that sent officials into colonial courts.

Treaty of Paris 1763

The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, Franceand Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain’s victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years’ War. The signing of the treaty formally ended the Seven Years’ War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American theatre,and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe. Great Britain and France each returned much of the territory that they had captured during the war, but Great Britain gained much of France’s possessions in North America. Additionally, Great Britain agreed to protect Roman Catholicism in the New World. The treaty did not involve Prussia and Austria as they signed a separate agreement, the Treaty of Hubertusburg, five days later.

Proclamation of 1763

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain’s acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years’ War. It forbade all settlement west of a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains, which was delineated as an Indian Reserve. This proclamation rendered worthless all land grants given by the government to British subjects who fought for the Crown against France. People throughout the various colonies were filled with indignation at having been unjustly shut out of the vast western wilderness and away from its resources. This anger was a foreshadowing of the discontent that would later arise during the American Revolution.

Albany Plan

The Albany Plan of Union was a plan to create a unified government for the Thirteen Colonies, suggested by Benjamin Franklin, then a senior leader and a delegate from Pennsylvania, at the Albany Congress on July 10, 1754 in Albany, New York. More than twenty representatives of several Northern Atlantic colonies had gathered to plan their defense related to the French and Indian War, the front in North America of the Seven Years’ War between Great Britain and France, spurred on by Washington’s recent defeat in the Ohio valley. The Plan represented one of multiple early attempts to form a union of the colonies ‘under one government as far as might be necessary for defense and other general important purposes.’

In Essence the “Salutatory Neglect” was the lenient trading and economic laws imposed by the British in the hopes that relaxed rules would cause the colonies to flourish. As Encyclopedia Britannica states, “Salutary neglect, policy of the British government from the early to mid-18th century regarding its North American colonies under which trade regulations for the colonies were laxly enforced and imperial supervision of internal colonial affairs was loose as long as the colonies remained loyal to the British government and contributed to the economic profitability of Britain.” Little did the British know that this taste of autonomy foreshadowed American Independence to come. In the mid-17th century—in pursuit of a favourable balance of trade and of continuing to exploit raw materials from colonies that also served as a market for English manufactured goods—the English government adopted the so-called Navigation Acts. Under the Navigation Act of 1651, “all goods exported to England or its colonies had to be transported on English vessels or on ships from the country from which the goods originated.” This action prevented England’s great maritime rival, the Dutch, from acting as middlemen in international trade with the English colonies, especially of commodities originating in Africa or Asia. Subsequent acts required that all goods bound for England or English colonies, regardless of origin, had to be shipped only on English vessels and that certain “enumerated articles” from the colonies (which came to include sugar, cotton, and tobacco) could be shipped only to England, with trade in those items with other countries prohibited. Moreover, ultimately, all goods from other countries bound for the colonies or goods from the colonies destined for other countries had to first pass through English ports, where they were subject to customs duties. Those duties elevated the price of non-English goods so that they were prohibitively expensive for the colonists. In 1696 Parliament established the Board of Trade largely with the intention of maintaining even tighter control of colonial trade. Paragraph 2: Some historians believe that the strict economic policies of Britain became more relaxed in the middle to late 17th century, this was due mainly in part by a man known as Robert Walpole. Long regarded as the first true prime minister of England, Walpole felt that ‘ignoring’ the illegal trade with other countries in Europe, as well as the rest of the world caused major profit in the colocnies, there should be no reason to impose penalties on the colonists. Other historians also speculate that another reason why Salutatory neglect was in place was that it was more cost-effective than enforcing strict trade.

The result of the French and Indian War was a paramount step in the evolution of the colonial mindset. It truly made it ripe for evolution and expansion and had a profound effect on the American colonists. The main reason is that it gave a sense of self-confidence to the dependent colonists. The colonists up until this point had felt that in militant efforts, they were relatively dependent on Britain. First of all, the colonists had learned to unite against a common foe. Before the war, the thirteen colonies had found almost no common ground and they coexisted in mutual distrust. But now thay had seen that together they could be a power to be reckoned with. And the next common foe would be Britain. Along with a boost of self-confidence, the results of the war served as a practice test of sorts in the development of the military. A majority of the new settlers in the American colonies were not soldiers, but were rather farmers or merchants trying to “make it big” in the new world. Because of this, many of the colonists didn’t know how to properly fire a musket, let alone fight in a battle. This perturb, before the French and Indian War, prevented the colonists from standing up for themselves. However, after a breadth of experience, the colonists mustered up the ability to physically fight back against the common enemy. Along with the aspects of unity, confidence and military experience, one of the more important results of the French and Indian War was how it affected the colonial mindset on expansion. In the aftermath of the war, the threat of the French and Inidans was virtually anihilated. The French and Indians held a cynch around the opportunity west of the Ohio River Valley, but now that the war was over, the Western Frontier was a land waiting to be discovered. At the end of the day, these four boosts in the colonial mindset contributed greatly to the colonies’ less dependency on England, (or the mother country.)

British policies toward the colonies in North America changed after the French and Indian War ended in 1763. The colonies were becoming more expensive to operate. The Native Americans were not happy that the British won the French and Indian War. They began to attack British settlements and threatened to continue the attacks. As a result, the British needed to send more soldiers to the colonies to protect the colonies and the colonists from attack. This was an added expense for the British government. The British believed the colonists should share in some of the costs of the protection they received. The British believed that the colonists benefited from this protection. Thus, the British required the colonists to provide housing and some supplies for the British soldiers with the passage of the Quartering Act. The British also prevented the colonists from moving to the new lands that Great Britain had gained from France as a result of the French and Indian War. The Proclamation of 1763 prevented the colonists from moving to these lands. The British stated that they were concerned for the safety of the colonists. The British also felt the colonists should share in some of the other costs associated with running the colonies. Thus, new tax laws were passed to raise revenue to help Great Britain run the colonies. The Stamp Act placed taxes on items such as newspapers, playing cards, and legal documents. The Townshend Acts placed taxes on imported products such as glass and tea. The colonists objected to these new tax laws because they did not have representatives in Parliament to speak about and vote on these tax laws. The British also began to clamp down on the smuggling that was occurring. The British had ignored the smuggling for many years, but after the French and Indian War ended, the British realized that they were losing out on potential sources of revenue. The colonists were not happy with these changes in policy. After the French and Indian War ended, there were changes in British policies toward the colonies in North America.

Although some of the Indian tribes allied with the British, the vast majority did not and allied with the French instead. The main reason is that the French essentially treated them with the utmost respect. When they first arrived in the Ohio River Valley, the French recognized the Natives as people no better than themselves. This mutual respect led to an immediate commradery between the two cultures. They also did not compete with the Natives for land. When the French first came to the Americas in the 1530’s and 1540’s to engage in seasonal fur trading, they immediately established strong trading ties with the local Natives they found there. The Natives already dealt extensively in furs. The French quickly discovered they could go back to France in the winter months with ships laden with furs they had purchased from the Natives with European wares, such as metal cooking pots, weapons, horses, and other goods not accessible to the Natives at that time. The Natives also accompanied the French on hunting parties and showed them where the good fur animals could be found. The French made it a point to learn the Native languages and ways, and established good relations that were based on equality with all of the tribes in the area. Because the British considered Native Americans to be inferior beings and the Spanish enslaved and killed many of the tribes of the South, the French seemed to make the most sense to partner with. Not only were the French respectful of them, but landwise, it made more sense to partner with them. It is important to note that the Alogonqian speaking Indian were the French’s primary Native ally. They stretched from the Ohio river east all the way to the tip of the Appalachian mountains which meant that the French had confined the Iroqois Indians (Britain’s only native ally) to the Great Lakes. This posed an advantage and the higher liklihood of a favorable outcome for the French, who were respectful to the Natives. This is why most of the Native American Tribes chose to ally with the French.

Cite this page

Mercantilism- Connection to British and French Hostilities. (2022, Feb 14). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront