Virginia resents the Navigation Acts 1671 (primary source document with reading questions)

Navigation Acts Virginia Resents Restrictions primary source with questions

The foundation stones of British mercantilism in America were the Navigation Acts of 1651 and 1660. They decreed that all commerce with the colonies had to be carried on in English-built ships (a blow at Dutch competitors), and that certain “enumerated articles,” including sugar, tobacco, and indigo, could be exported only to England. To the English mainland colonies, tobacco was by far the most important enumerated product, and Virginia was especially hard hit. The Virginians, to be sure, were guaranteed a monopoly of the English market, but they were denied the profits of direct sales to Spanish and other European customers. As early as 1671 the testy Governor Berkeley of Virginia lodged the following bitter protest with the London officials in response to specific questions from them.


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