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economic struggles

             During the 1500's to 1800's, the strength and stature of a .
             country depended upon its political power, which can be traced to how .
             self-sufficient it was. Striving to be self-sufficient was what .
             nations sought after; dependency was not a characteristic of a .
             powerful nation. Raw materials were the most required item to .
             strengthen the central government, and deter interactions, such as .
             trade with other nations. The first country to introduce mercantilism .
             in America was Spain. The spanish american colonies were not allowed .
             to trade directly with Europe. Instead they had to funnel all of the .
             sugar and tobacco, two common commdities of the new land, through .
             Spain. When this was done, heavy custom duties were imposed and the .
             central government gained. Spanish American colonies were forced into .
             providing precious metals and raw materials to the mother country. .
             These colonies existed only to enrich spain, even if the economic .
             policies adversly effected the well-being of the colonies. This grip .
             caused the central economy of Spain to grow at the expense of the .
             colonies. During the duration of this period, the 1500's through the .
             1700's, mercantilism had a major effect on the economies in the new .
             world. English speaking colonies were effected by England's policies .
             and acts. These policies and acts were means of controling the economy .
             of the colonies in America and strengthen the central government of .
             England. Dutch traders had the commercial vessel market well cornered .
             in the 1640's. It was very difficult for English colonies to compete .
             with the Dutch. With owning 75 percent of Northern Europes' vessels, .
             being well-financed and experienced, the Dutch were going to stay in .
             control of the market unless European Parliament intervined. In 1651 .
             the European parliament enacted the first Navigation Act to undercut .
             the Dutches domination. England was hoping that this Act would exclude .
             the Dutch from trade with the English and force its own merchant .

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