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Economic and Religious Concerns for the British Settling in North America

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Though religious incentives were significant for the British settling in North America, economic development was the sole purpose for colonization. Such economic concerns included the opportunity to acquire gold, silver, and more power as a nation. In addition to these economic reasons for colonization, the English were also seeking to obtain the essential raw materials in America that they had been previously buying from other European countries for large amounts of money and gold. Religion was a key part of life for many settlers in North America, but they would not have been able to flourish as a community had they not been striving for a thriving economy.

Economic concerns dominated colonial life during and up until the very end of the British colonial era in North America. Britain believed in governing its colonies based on mercantilism, which meant that money was the main point from which the nation gained its power and saw this as the perfect chance to gain more of both. Since this applied to colonies, this meant that they're main purpose was to enrich Great Britain. An example of mercantilism would be when England passed the Navigation Act of 1651. The Act stated that all trade between France and English colonies, Europe and English colonies, and between the colonies themselves had to be done on an English ship. This helped the British direct all trade through their ports and then collect proceeds from taxes and other charges, helping to stimulate their economy. Great Britain again continued its policy of mercantilism with The Staple Act of 1663, which said that all European goods headed for the American colonies would have to first land at English ports and then be reshipped to America in English ships. This meant that the English merchants would profit from having domination on sales and increased prices in the colonies. Britain then kept passing different acts that made it more obvious that economic concerns were the sole interest in the American colonies. The Sugar Act of 1764 was passed to extract even more American money through the taxing of sugar, coffee, and wines. The Stamp Act of 1765 then put taxes on everyday normal items that the American colonists used. With all of these different acts Great Britain passed, they taxed American colonists without even giving them any representation in English government. It soon became clear that the British were looking only to prosper by any economic means possible.

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