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The year 1849 marked not only the start of the high-stakes California race but also the moment when America brought England to her knees in the China trade. Under pressure from British merchants demanding faster freight service, Parliament finally repealed the ancient Navigation Acts, which since the days of Oliver Cromwell, the seventeenth-century Puritan Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of Great Britain, had prevented foreign vessels carrying goods from Asia from trading in British ports. Originally meant to weaken the maritime supremacy of the Dutch, who controlled the spice and pepper markets of Indonesia, the old law had also hampered American traders eager to compete against the British East India Company monopoly. The East India Company’s privileged position in the China trade had already collapsed in the 1830s, but the ships belonging to the British merchants who moved in to fill the massive hole were still slow compared with American vessels. Now the barrier to American competition was down. Ujifusa, Steven. Barons of the Sea: And their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship (p. 158). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition. Ujifusa, Steven. Barons of the Sea: And their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship (p. 158). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

— America brought England to her knees in the China trade.  

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