Navigation Acts

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Were intended to protect English (later British) commerce from foreign competition. This assumed that the volume of world trade was finite and that any gain by one country could only be at the expense of another. The great Act of 1651 was aimed at the Dutch carrying trade. It required that all imports should be carried in ships either owned by English subjects or owned by the nationals of the country from which the goods came. The Navigation Acts were abolished in 1849, a final step towards making Britain a free trade economy.

Subjects: Maritime History — Regional and National History.

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