- Navigation Acts
English laws in the 17th–18th centuries that required the use of English or colonial ships to carry English trade.The laws were designed to encourage English shipbuilding and restrict trade competition from England's commercial rivals, especially the Dutch. The acts of the 18th century gradually restricted trade by the American colonies and contributed to growing colonial resentment with the imposition of additional duties on sugar, tobacco, and molasses.
* * *in English history, a series of laws designed to restrict England's carrying trade to English ships, effective chiefly in the 17th and 18th centuries. The measures, originally framed to encourage the development of English shipping so that adequate auxiliary vessels would be available in wartime, became a form of trade protectionism during an era of mercantilism.The first navigation act, passed in 1381, remained virtually a dead letter because of a shortage of ships. In the 16th century, various Tudor measures had to be repealed because they provoked retaliation from other countries. The system came into its own at the beginning of the colonial era, in the 17th century. The great Navigation Act passed by the Commonwealth government in 1651 was aimed at the Dutch, then England's greatest commercial rivals. It distinguished between goods imported from European countries, which could be brought in either English ships or ships of the country of origin, and goods brought from Asia, Africa, or America, which could travel to England, Ireland, or any English colony only in ships from England or the particular colony. Various fish imports and exports were entirely reserved to English shipping, as was the English coastal trade. The law was reenacted in 1660, and the practice was introduced of “enumerating” certain colonial products, which could be shipped directly only to England, Ireland, or another English colony. These included sugar (until 1739), indigo, and tobacco; rice and molasses were added during the 18th century. Nonenumerated goods could go in English ships from English colonies directly to foreign ports. From 1664 English colonies could receive European goods only via England. Scotland was treated as a foreign country until the Act of Union (1707) gave it equal privileges with England; Ireland was excluded from the benefits of the laws between 1670 and 1779.Although English tonnage and trade increased steadily from the late 17th century, critics of the navigation system argue that this would have occurred in any case and that the policy forced up freight prices, thus ultimately making English manufactured goods less competitive. At first, colonial merchants benefited from an assured market, but the tightening of the laws in 1764 contributed to the unrest leading to the rebellion of England's American colonies; their achievement of independence made the first serious breach in the navigation system, and from then on exceptions were increasingly made. Enumeration was abandoned in 1822, and the navigation laws were finally repealed in 1849 and 1854.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Navigation Acts — The English Navigation Acts were a series of laws that restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England (after 1707 Great Britain) and its colonies, a process which had started in 1651. Their goal was to force colonial development … Wikipedia
Navigation Acts — A series of mercantilist provisions designed to protect English shipping, as well as to secure huge profits at the cost of colonies. English customs practices aimed at the Dutch in 1651 had banned foreign vessels from shipping goods from non… … Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914
Navigation Acts — Die Navigationsakte (gebräuchliche Übersetzung von engl. Navigation Acts = Navigationsgesetz oder Schifffahrtsgesetz) war ein Gesetzesbeschluss des englischen Parlaments vom 9. Oktober 1651 zur Regulierung von Schifffahrt und Seehandel. Sie wurde … Deutsch Wikipedia
Navigation Acts — Actes de Navigation Les Actes de Navigation, sont une série de textes du parlement britannique, promulgués par Cromwell à partir de 1651 à la suite du refus que firent les Provinces Unies de s allier à l Angleterre, alors en république. Plusieurs … Wikipédia en Français
Navigation Acts — /nævəˈgeɪʃən ækts/ (say navuh gayshuhn akts) plural noun a series of acts, the first of which was passed in 1651, aiming at the expansion of British trade and the establishment of Britain as the supreme naval power … Australian English dictionary
Navigation Acts — Sy Poulett Thomson s speech on, 17. E Their disastrous effect on Canadian development, 38 39; Legislature passes address praying for repeal of, 45; repealed in 1849, 83 … The makers of Canada
Navigation Act — Eng. Hist. any of several acts of Parliament between 1651 and 1847 designed primarily to expand British trade and limit trade by British colonies with countries that were rivals of Great Britain. * * * … Universalium
Navigation Act — Eng. Hist. any of several acts of Parliament between 1651 and 1847 designed primarily to expand British trade and limit trade by British colonies with countries that were rivals of Great Britain … Useful english dictionary
Townshend Acts — Charles Townshend spearheaded the Townshend Acts, but died before their detrimental effects became apparent. The Townshend Acts were a series of laws passed beginning in 1767 by the Parliament of Great Britain relating to the British colonies in… … Wikipedia
Intolerable Acts — This cartoon depicting the Intolerable Acts as an assault upon a Native American woman (a symbol of the American colonies) was copied and distributed in North America The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series… … Wikipedia