Americans With Attitude

Colonial Smuggling

What is smuggling?

George H. Smith states, "Since the seventeenth century American commerce had been regulated by a complex system of British laws "(Libertanism). Smuggling was not just known as stealing goods but smuggling was used as a weapon against other colonial powers, "the colonial mercantile system imposed heavy duties and a multitude of restrictions on trade between colonies, the mother land and other nations" (ABC-CLIO). By smuggling goods the colonists increased tension between themselves and the British. In the 18th century illegal trade across England's coast grew at a prodigious rate. "What had previously been simple small-scale evasion of commission turned into an industry of astonishing proportions, transporting money overseas, and channeling an extreme amount of contraband into the southern counties of England"(ABC-CLIO). "In the seventeenth and eighteenth century mercantilism evolved, in this system the colonies existed to enrich the mother country" (ABC-CLIO). Restrictions were in-tacked as to what the manufacture, whose ships they could use, and most importantly who they could trade with.

The relationship

Tension was increased between the colonists and British in the 1700's when the colonists accumulated debt. The events leading up to the unexpected event was when the colonies didn't trade with Britain they could not makeup the shortfall of gold and silver leaving Britain with an increase in their earnings, to increase their profits the Colonists started smuggling goods and trading with other countries. England passed the Navigation Acts shortly after they found out about colonial smuggling to prevent the American colonists from illegal trading(ABC-CLIO). Colonial merchants strongly disliked the new proposition and continued on to smuggle goods. The ships boarded with cloths, silk, hardware, utensils, wines and other necessities the other colonists wanted. When the British enforced the Molasses Act in 1733 it was arguably the harshest act that put the colonists in rage. This act was imposed to govern colonial trade, however the colonists were infuriated by this and illegal trade rapidly increased. If the British Government thought they were going to prevent colonial smuggling by passing all of these new acts they were wrong, this just angered the colonists and merchants and they continued to do it.

Conclusion

Smuggling was a major effect on the American Revolution. It is accurate to conclude that if there was no illegal trade in the 1700's the British government would have earned more dividend form commission. Throughout the time period of smuggling people were endangered by the colonists, the British government and the people who were smuggling on the other side. There were threats and deaths put on innocent people if they witnessed smuggling and the merchants were so paranoid they black mailed the witness or put them to death. Smuggling was an illegal action portrayed by the colonists increasing the tension between themselves and the British.

Works Cited

1.Source:http://worldatwar.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/902113?terms=colonial+smuggling


Summary/ How it relates to the project: In this database it discusses what smuggling was and what goods were smuggled. Smuggling was also known as a weapon against other colonial powers. The colonial mercantile system imposed heavy duties and a multitude of restrictions on trade between colonies, the mother land and other nations.


2. Source: http://www.boston-tea-party.org/smuggling/John-Hancock.html


Summary/ How it relates to the project: John Hancock was a historical figure known best for his skill for smuggling goods. He made a profit off most of all his goods and boycotted East India.



3. Source: http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/americans-attitudes-smuggling-colonial-america


Summary/ How it relates to the project:



4. Source: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/brittwo/brittwo.html


Summary/ How it relates to the project:



5. Source: http://www.ushistory.org/us/7d.asp


Summary/ How it relates to the project: American colonists would pay duties on imported goods and the Navigation and Molasses taxes were imposed to restrict colonial trade. Smuggling was the way merchants got away with not paying these taxes. Smuggling became commonplace. The British estimated that over £700,000 per year were brought into the American colonies illegally.



6. Source: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/walter-e-williams/2011/04/27/smugglers-are-heroes-just-look-american-revolution


Summary/ How it relates to the project: This article is biased against liberals and mostly one sided, however it is very interesting because the author discusses how smugglers were his heroes not just criminals.



7. Source: http://www.thehistoryconnection.com/Causes-Of-The-American-Revolution.html


Summary/ How it relates to the project: THis article discusses all the events that happened that made the British and colonists bud heads a lot and come in a lot of arguments, especially due to smuggling and other taxes imposed.