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What Was the Role of the Colonies in the British Mercantilist System?

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A man named Marquis de Mirabeau in 1763 first introduced the term mercantilism. Although it would not be until 1776 when a man by the name of Adam Smith, who was a Scottish political economist, popularized the term in his book The Wealth of Nations. Mercantilism is based on the simply theory that states that in order for a nation to accumulate economic strength, that nation must have to be able to export more than it imports., creating a favorable balance in trade. As a country with limited resources, there were many was that England could do this, one of the ways was to acquire colonies in that could be a reliable source of raw materials.

This is exactly were the colonies fell into place. After the colonies had been established, England could take advantage of the colonies and use them as a producer of the materials that were otherwise unavailable to them. As the colonies role, they were expected to aid what was referred to as the “Mother country” in order for them to achieve a favorable balance in their trades. Colonies supplied products such as tobacco, sugar, and grain. The mother country also created an outlet for exports through the colonies, which increased the industrial development, as well as jobs at home. Colonies reduced the dependence on foreign countries for England by providing them with raw materials, which would allow them to discard the idea of having to purchase it from another country.

Furthermore, the colonies role was not only to supply raw materials to the mother country, but to buy products as well. This meant that the colonies were not able to manufacture products or goods that would compete with what things that were being made in England. England wanted colonies to have to import products, instead of making them, further benefiting England. This also meant that as a supplier to England, the colonies were not to export raw materials...

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