LAWRENCE A. HARPER
THE ENGLISH Navigation Acts have long been a topic of great interest to both British and American historians, but there has been no agreement as to their effect upon the colonies. The opposite extremes are represented by George Bancroft, who viewed the Acts as horrible instruments of English tyranny against which the colonies nobly arose to throw off the oppressive yoke, and George Louis Beer, who veered to the other extreme in pointing out that the measures were not unfair and who maintained that the old colonial system was so nicely balanced that both the colonies and the mother country bore burdens for the good of the Empire and shared in the general advantages.
The ultimate answer to the question must be deferred until more detailed knowledge of colonial trade and commerce is available. Work which has been done and research now in progress make it possible at this time to outline the factors involved in the problems and to formulate tentative hypotheses.1 The difficulties are many, but most critics of attempts to solve the problem empha-____________________