A Study of the Topography and Municipal History of Praeneste

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II. Control Of Trade And Plantations During The InterRegnum. The earliest separate council to be established during the period from 1650 to 1660 was that appointed by act of Parliament, August, 1650, known as the Commission or Council of Trade, of which Sir Harry Vane was president and Benjamin Worsley, a London merchant and " doctor of physic," already becoming known as an expert on plantation affairs, was secretary. This body was specially instructed by Parliament to consider, not only domestic and foreign trade, the trading companies, manufactures, free ports, customs, excise, statistics, coinage and exchange, and fisheries, but also the plantations and the best means of promoting their welfare and rendering them useful to England. " They are to take into their consideration," so runs article 12 of the instructions, " the English plantations in America or elsewhere, and to advise how these plantations may best be managed and made most useful for the Commonwealth, and how the commodities thereof may be so multiplied and improved as (if it be possible) those plantations alone may supply the Commonwealth of England with whatsoever it necessarily wants." These statesmanlike and comprehensive instructions are notable in the history of the development of England's commercial and colonial program. Free from the limitations which characterize the instructions given to the earlier commissions, they stand with the Parliamentary ordinance of October, 1650, and the Navigation Act of 1651, as forming the first definite expression of England's commercial policy. Inadequate though the immediate results were to be, we cannot call that policy " drifting " which could shape with so much intelligence the functions of a board of trade and plantations. There is no trace here of the co...
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