Land of the Brave

Iron Act

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Definition of the Iron Act

The Meaning and Definition of the Act: The Iron Act of 1750 was a British Law, passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, that was designed to encourage the American manufacture of more pig iron and iron bars by the American colonists in the 13 Colonies to be sent to England, tax free. But the Act of 1750 also prohibited the colonies from producing finished iron goods.

Mercantilism and the Iron Act
The Iron Act was part of the policy of Mercantilism that favored England in which materials from the colonies, in this case pig iron and iron bar, were used to make different products in England - finished goods had a higher value than the raw materials.

Triangular Trade and the Iron Act
The establishment of the 13 Colonies, with their surplus of raw materials, made it possible for Great Britain to engage in highly lucrative trading via the Triangular Trade routes across the Atlantic. Pig Iron, a type of crude iron shaped like a block, and the smaller iron bar were made from the raw materials provided by the colonies and were sent to England.

Iron Act of 1750 - Which colonies produced Iron?
Which colonies produced Iron? Many colonies produced iron but the Middle Colonies of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey are perhaps most strongly associated with this industry. However Virginia and then Maryland were the first colonies to export iron to England. In fact  the Maryland Legislature passed an “Act for the Encouragement of an Iron Manufacture within this Province” in 1719.

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