French and Indian War, and its impact

French and Indian War, and its impact on one foreign nation.

Mercantilism is an economic principle where there is a focus on the maximization of profitable trading that would increase the wealth of a nation. In line with this belief, Europeans took several steps in ensuring that they maximized wealth for their nations between the 16th and 18th century and much of this focused on the exploitation of their colonies. Britain was the country that largely relied on this approach and this meant that it exerted pressure on its colonies to produce the raw materials and goods as well as minerals that were essential for its trade. The political and economic effect that this had on the American colonies is that mercantilism denied them any discretion to regulate themselves.

French and Indian War

With the colonies having no right to regulate themselves politically or economically, Britain controlled trade and production such as through trade restrictions. As an example, Britain passed the Navigation Acts in 1660s and the acts were meant to ensure that the colonies had a direct dependence on Great Britain’s manufactured products.[1] Further, there were protected goods that were only designed for the British merchants and they included cotton, fur, iron, indigo, tobacco, and sugar. In essence, this meant that the British were in direct control of the amount of wealth that the colonies would amass as they had complete control of trade. On the political realm, the British denied the colonies any right to regulate or control their political situation. Such is seen in the fact that Britain continued to maintain political control over the American colonies for centuries. The colonies lacked any representation in the political power that controlled their lands and this further subjected them to the will of their colonial power until America gained independence later on. As such, the main effect of mercantilism was political and economic control of the colonies by the British colonial power for its profitable gains.

[1] Barry Weingast. War, trade, and mercantilism: reconciling Adam Smith’s three theories of the British Empire. (Stanford: Stanford University, 2017), 5.

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