Britain’s absence in colonial America due to pressing issues in England left the colonies alone for the most part to govern themselves. During this time they flourished and developed a British origin, yet with a distinctly American flavor. It was because of this absence that the colonies became more self sufficient and eventually it led them to a feeling of individuality that they feared losing, thus bringing forth the Declaration of Independence after a series of events.
mercantilism: features, rationale, impact on Great Britain, impact on the different colonies: Economic policy prevailing in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries under which governmental control was exercised over industry and trade in accordance with the theory that national strength is increased by a majority of exports over imports. The colonies adopted mercantilism as business in which the mother country could benefit.
triangular trade: Trade that takes place between three places is called triangular trade. Colonial trade was not very triangular because the Navigation Acts forced American merchants to trade only with Britain. However, the Americans still managed to smuggle goods with the French Caribbean and India.
consignment systems: A system of drafting sailors into the British navy. The British could freely use the soldiers at their convenience by the rules of this draft. The draft caused many problems in the life of young American men. Many teenagers tried to avoid the draft by giving false information about themselves.
Molasses Act, 1733: Legislation by the British Parliament for taxing and imposing shipment restrictions on sugar and molasses imported into the profitable colonies from the West Indies. It was meant to create profitable trade as a protective tariff, but it was never meant to raise revenue.
Woolens Act, 1699; Hat Act, 1732: Iron Act, 1750: Act specifying certain enumerated goods—principally tobacco, rice, and indigo—that the colonists could export only to another English colony or to England. These were attempts to prevent manufacturing in the British colonies that might threaten the economy of England.
Currency Act, 1751: Act passed by British Parliament that affected the colonies by adjusting the currency. The point of this attack was to raise revenue for Great Britain. It was a clear example of how Salutary Neglect was coming to an end with the French and Indian War.
Currency Act, 1764: Another Act passed by the British Parliament that affected the colonies and was meant to raise revenue for Great Britain. It was very similar to the other previous Currency Act but this act was targeted towards the people and raising the taxes so that the Parliament could make more money.
Magna Carta, 1215: A charter granted by King John, that exactly established the relationship between the kings and barons and guaranteed ideas of free commerce, the right to a fair trial, and the right to a trial by your peers. Many of the base rights in the United States Constitution are included in it.
Petition of Right, 1628: Petition given to Charles I by parliament, asking him to stop sending soldiers to live in private citizens homes, stop taxing without its consent and stop declaring martial law in a time of peace. This occurred partially because Charles was trying to pay off his war debt.
Habeas Corpus Act: Act saying that a person can not be held in prison without being charged and tried. They put this into effect to help stop innocent people from being thrown into jail with no specific reason why. This idea was adopted into our Constitution in Article 1, Section 9. It can only be revoked in time of rebellion.
Navigation Act, 1651: Parliament passed this legislation in 1651 in order to protect English trade from foreign competition. It was only temporary and it stated that goods imported or exported by the colonies in Africa and Asia must be shipped out or imported only by English vessels and the crews must be 75% British. It also helped U.S. capitalism.
Navigation Act, 1660: This Parliamentary act renewed the 1651 act and specified certain innumerable articles which could be exported only to the English or to another English colony in 1660. Among these goods were tobacco, rice, and indigo. American shipbuilding thus prospered and there was a stable protected market for producers.
Navigation Act, 1663: This Parliamentary act disallowed colonial merchants from exporting products like sugar and tobacco anywhere except to England and from importing goods in ships not made and produced by the English. Along with the 1660 act, it was passed to help English commercial interests in 1663 but helped the U.S.
Navigation Act, 1696: This was the fifth and final Parliamentary Navigation Act. It allowed for methods of enforcing the acts, provided more penalties for evasion, and introduced use of vice-admiralty courts. It was passed in 1696 in an effort to strengthen its effect on colonists. It was felt much more harshly by the colonists and led to hostility
admiralty courts: These were courts that were created to bring sailors to trial for going against the navigation acts. They were often held away from the colonies, a fact that the colonies viewed as being unconstitutional. Also, the courts awarded judges money for every conviction, thus judges became more apt to find people guilty.
merchants/markets: People and places involved in the trading system of the colonies were merchants and the markets with which they traded. The Navigation Acts opened up British markets to American merchants, and the number of merchants increased during the 1750’s as well.
Board of Trade, (of the Privy Council): This board was part of the Privy Council which was one of the committees formed by the British Parliament In 1793 Britain’s Privy Council sent out orders that any foreign ships caught trading with the French Islands located in the Caribbean to be automatically captured and taken away. They deliberately waited to publish these instructions so that American ships would be seized, causing over 250 ships were captured.
Robert Walpole: Statesman who is considered Britain’s first prime minister. He entered the English Parliament in 1701 and became a well known speaker for the Whig Party. In 1708 he was named Secretary of War. In 1739 he declared war on Spain, which caused division in his party (Whigs) for support for him in elections.
the Enlightenment: A period in the 1700s when a new method of thought was employed. It was a time when great minds awoke and started thinking, affecting the colonies as well as Europe. Some beliefs brought to the forefront were the laws of nature, optimism, confidence in human reason, and deism. Its ideas lead to revolutionary ideas.
John Locke’s Ideas: John Locke was a philosopher that supported Colonial America. He criticized the "divine right" kings had and believed that the people should have a say and that the supreme power should be state power, but only if they were governed by "natural" law. His ideas can be seen in the Constitution.
John Peter Zenger Trial: Trial involving the founder of the New York Weekly Journal , who received money from influential town members. So when Zenger published articles by his contributors that criticized Colonial government he was arrested and put on trial. He was announced not guilty, his success paving the way for freedom of the press.
Characterized by regular assemblies and appointed militia, law, and local administration. Often, these were dominated by the colonial elite despite libera
Colonial Government: l qualifications for male voters. Because of low voter participation and indifference toward politics, colonial government only truly flourished in the major seaports. The most significant development of colonial government was the rise of the assembly and the limiting of the power of governors.
Rise of the lower house: In Colonial America the lower house had increasingly equal if not more power than the upper house. The house had the power of the purse which led them to being the more dominant house. More common people could get into government than before and make a difference which helped build the foundations of America.
Proprietary, Charter, Royal Colonies: These are three ways one could come upon owning land in Colonial America. One such way was for a company to give out land so an area would become populated. Kings and Queens could also give away land as well as people having property passed on to them, therefore having an influence on decisions the new powers would make. All of these ideas helped shape America’s way of government life.
colonial agents: Representatives sent by Great Britain to the colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries. They would observe the colonies and then send the information back to England. The problem is by the time it got back to England the information that had once been true was now old and wrong.
Glorious Revolution: When Mary and William over run James II in England in 1688, British citizens saw this as a win in liberty for parliament would have more control than ever. Moderate uprising that came out of the Colonial America during this time ended with William and Mary taking apart the Dominion of New England.
Bill of Rights, 1689: Bill that said no Roman Catholics could hold a position of king or queen in England. It also made it illegal for a monarch to postpone laws, have a standing army, or levy taxes without the okay of the British Parliament. The colonies then interpreted the law and used it against the British (levy tax).