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The Navigation Acts, otherwise known as the British Acts Of Trade were designed to:
1. Expand the English carrying trade
2. Provide England with raw materials
3. Develop Colonial markets for British manufactures

These acts were:
1. Navigation Act 1651, to counter the Dutch threat to British shipping
2. Navigation Act 1660, Reenactment of the 1651 Act, gave England monopolies of certain colonial produce.
3. Navigation Act 1663, required foriegn shipments to America to originate from English ports.
4. The Molasses Act of 1733 forced colonists to buy more expensive British West Indian sugar and led to an increase in smuggling.

All of these Navigation Acts were repealed in 1849.

The First Act enumerated such colonial articles as sugar, tobacco, cotton, and indigo; these were to be supplied only to England. This act was expanded and altered by the succeeding Navigation Acts of 1662, 1663, 1670, 1673, and by the Act to Prevent Frauds and Abuses of 1696.


  • Catholic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition