Joint Stock Companies:

England was one of the most influential countries when it came to the United States. Joint stock companies was a modern adaption on joint stock ventures. Joint stock ventures were stocks sold to high investors who provided capitol with little risk. However, the joint stock company was the investment in a colony. Therefore, there was a high risk if the colony failed and collapsed. However, England was at this time a poor country compared to other nations. The reward seemed to be worth the risk. Many started to settle in the Western Hemisphere so they could invest in the new colony. Therefore is was the gateway for England settling in America. (

Royal, Corporate, and Proprietary Colonies:

When the original 13 colonies were being established they were being classified as a corporate colony or a proprietary colony. A corporate colony had a charter that was granted to them by the England monarch to stockholders. A proprietary colony was one that was owned by a proprietor or a group of proprietors with permission from the monarch in England. However, in 1624, the monarch started changing certain colonies to royal colonies. This meant that they were to be under direct control of the monarch. At the end of this period only Connecticut and Rhode Island remained corporate colonies and Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland remained proprietary colonies. The other eight had been turned into royal colonies. Being under direct rule of the English government these eight royal colonies had a lot of influence from England. (

Mercantilism and Salutary Neglect:

Mercantilism was a way for the British to keep control of the American economy prior to the Revolutionary War. The British government wanted every move that the new country made to be for the benefit of the home land, meaning England. When the colonies began to grow more successful they started trading with different nations in Europe, including the Dutch. This is when England started to become more strict with their mercantilism policies. This is why they created the Navigation Acts, an act that made certain goods go through England before other nations. They also started promoting the production of raw materials in the Americas. These raw materials would get shipped to England where they would be turned into usable products. These products would get shipped back to the colonies therefore establishing a profitable business for Britain with hardly any competition. This allowed England to tighten the grip on the American economy and held a huge influence in the trade. (

However, Sir Robert Walpole had a different view on how they should be running the colonies and their economy. He believed in salutary neglect. This meant that they would have very little control over what the colonies were trading and who they were trading with. He believed that the colony would flourish if left to do things their own way. This unofficial policy was in place from 1607-1763. After 1763 mercantilism had started becoming the policy and this would ultimately lead to the American Revolution. (

Navigation Acts:


The Navigation Acts were passed by Parliament in 1660 based off of the idea of mercantlism. However, in 1651, an act was passed stating that all exports had to make their way to England before being exported to another nation. These acts were meant to make American trade stricter and threrefore benefitted England more then any other nation. Some of these new restrictions were: only British ships could be used to transport goods in and out of the colonies, only England was allowed to openly trade with the colonies, and raw materials such as cotton wool, tobacco, and sugar were to only be exported to England. Britain kept expanding the Navigation Acts until they were officially revoked in 1849. However, prior to they being abolished, Britain established the Molasses Act of 1733. This made the colonies purchase high prices British sugar instead of getting sugar from a cheaper nation. All of these acts combined caused intense smuggling and was arguably the cause of the American Revolution. ( (

Glorious Revolution:

The Glorious Revolution was the successful removal of James II and thus putting William III and Mary II in the English throne. William and Mary were big supporters of Parliament. The Parliament now made the Declaration of Rights and the Bill of Rights to be strictly enforced. It was a checks and balance system for the monarch. Meaning that the crown could not do anything concerning taxations or military actions without Parliament's consent. This is similar to America's democracy and it's checks and balance system. (

The picture above is William and Mary who took the throne of England after the Glorious Revolution. They allowed Parliament to be the focus of government in England and developed something similar to a check and balance system. This will later influence America to have a democracy after the are victorious in the American Revolution.

Colonial Government:

Colonial government consisted of colonial governors and colonial legistators from 1855-1933. In 1855, Responsible government allowed some forms of democracy to come to the United States. However, external affairs were still decided on from the mainland, England, even though America supposedly had full independence. The colonial governor never sat in deliberations, however played an important role with his limited amount of powers. Every decision the governor made had to reflect the rights that were written in that colony's constitution. He was also responsible for holding dinners, he was head of the colonial governement at some points, and had to open sessions of legistlature. The colonial governor had strong connections with the British government and served as a way of communication between the colonial and British government. The colonial governor also had to report any decisions made by the colonial legislature that he found controversial to the British government as well as any external affairs. (

Legislature in the colonies varied colony to colony. In the case of New York, New Jersey and Georgia, the governor was appointed by Parliament and was loyal to the crown, not the colonists. This made the laws and economic systems of these states very different from states that had governors and leaders that were not appointed by England. In the colonies there were "assemblies" to which free, white men could be appointed to. These assemblies would decide what kinds of laws and economic stimuli their colony needed and would then hand over their proposal to the governor for approval. If the governor approved it, it would then be sent to England to be approved by the King. The process was so time consuming, however, that many colonies and governors began to act on their proposals before they gained approval or without asking altogether. Legislature made obvious the gap between America and England and was a manifestation for the call for Independence. (

With the distancing from England and English government, "town meetings" became very popular throughout the colonies. Many of the colonies would have a town meeting once a year in which all free white men could come and have a say in the taxes and laws of their colony. This put the government in the hands of the colonists for the first time. (

During this time, the county officials were chosen and appointed by the colonial governor. The colonies were split into counties so that they would be easier to rule and so it would easier for the rules passed by the King and the colonial governor to be enforced. County government was one of the first to pull away from the Crown's rule because the decisions made by the Crown for that county affected the county official as well as the people, while it may not affect the colonial governor. People in colonial times wanted to elect their own county officials. (

Democracy in the government at this time was limited. People voted on what they wanted for their county/colony at town meetings, but it still had to go through many upper branches of the government before it could be passed and enacted. Oftentimes, it wasn't passed and the county/colony couldn't get a law it needed passed. (

"American Colonial Government." History of the USA. Web. 16 Aug. 2011. <>.

Colonial Mercantilism. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.

Drivas, Gus. The Navigation Acts: 1650-1696. 2 May 1997. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. <>.

Glorious Revolution. Highbeam Research, 2005. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.

Government House: Colonial Government. Aug. 2000. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. <>.

"History of Colonial America." Read Books Online Free - Romance Novels Online. Web. 16 Aug. 2011. <>.

"History of County Government Part I." NACo : The Voice of America's Counties. Web. 16 Aug. 2011. <>.

Joint-Stock Companies. Independence Hall Association, 2008-2011. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.

Kelly, Martin. Salutary Neglect. 2011. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.

Navigation Acts. Highbeam Research, 2005. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. <>.

Royal Colones, versus Corportate or Proprietary. Concord Learning Systems, 1998-2000. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.

Sage, Henry J. "America and the British Empire." Academic American History. 2010. Web. 16 Aug. 2011. <>.

9 Explain the reasons that the language, political institutions, and political principles of what became the United States of America were largely shaped by English colonists even though other major European nations also explored the New World. (H, C)

A. the relatively small number of colonists who came from other nations besides England
B. long experience with self-government
C. the high rates of literacy and education among the English colonial leaders
D. England’s strong economic, intellectual, and military position
Key Terms
Joint Stock Companies
Royal Colonies
Corporate colonies
proprietary colonies
salutary neglect
Glorious Revolution
Navigation Acts
Charters of Liberties
colonial governors
colonial legislatures
town meetings
county government
limited democracy

Team of Melanie B and Allie Bou