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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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