Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Navigation Acts

Navigation Acts, The, were laws passed at various times for regulating the conditions under which foreign ships might trade with Great Britain and for regulating the privileges of British shipping. Under Henry VIII. and Elizabeth foreign ships were excluded from our coasting trade. Cromwell excluded all foreign unlicensed ships from trade with America; and in 1651 the Navigation Act forbade the importation to England of goods unless by English ships or by ships of the producing countries. The measure provoked the Dutoh, who then did much of the carrying trade of the world, to make war, but they did not succeed in procuring its repeal. Another Act of 1660' provided for the exportation of all colonial products in English bottoms. One of 1663 forbade the colonies to receive goods except by English vessels. The Navigation Act of 1672 reaffirmed and enlarged that of 1651, and completed the ruin of Dutch trade; but the legislation on these lines had also the effect of ultimately leading, to the rebellion of the American colonies. After the rebellion the United States became a foreign nation, and American retaliation led to the war of 1812, upon the conclusion of which, by the Treaty of Ghent, discriminating duties were abolished. Thenceforward the legislation of two hundred and fifty years began to be slowly undone. The Reciprocity of Duties Act was passed in 1823; the Navigation Act, was in 1826 repealed in favour of a much more liberal measure; and finally in 1854 even the coasting trade of England was thrown open to all the world.