Mercantilism


US History European Colonization Mercantilism
Students learn about the economic philosophy of mercantilism and its effect on the American colonies. They explore how the British enforced this policy on the colonies, and how the colonists responded.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the economic philosophy of mercantilism and its effect on the American colonies. They explore how the British enforced this policy on the colonies, and how the colonists responded.

Objective:

  • Explain the development of mercantilism and colonists’ response to it.


Economics can have a big impact on the development of historical events. In this lesson, you will learn about the economic system called mercantilism and how it shaped the British colonies.

Objective:

  • Explain the development of mercantilism and the colonists’ response to it.


What do you think the British government saw as the main purpose of the colonies?

A) To convert the native populations to Christianity
B) To bring glory to the British Empire by extending its territories
C) To generate wealth for the British motherland
D) To develop a colony for receiving British criminals and homeless people



Look at the painting shown above. It depicts a battle between the British and the Dutch.


Think about what you have learned so far about these countries’ colonization activities in the seventeenth century, and try to infer how the Anglo-Dutch wars may be connected to the British colonies in North America.

Post your answer

The wars were fought between the English and the Dutch for control over the seas and trade routes. The British colonies were a critical piece of the triangular trade routes that developed.

Some students may struggle with this question; they do not need to post an answer in order to continue. Ask a student who did post an answer to explain his or her response to the class.


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