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The lack of unity inside the thirteen colonies led to a little political basis for a national consciousness of any sort. But, the three thousand miles that separated England, also created a huge lapse of royal governmental influence. Therefore, for the most part, the colonies were independent from one another and loosely affiliated with their mother country. Although each colony had a governor (who was appointed by the king,) the legislative houses ran by the colonists possessed the most significant amounts of power. Not much could be done about this abundance of American freedom however. As John Garraty states, it was nearly impossible for British representatives to have any sort of influence because they were “prisoners of their own surroundings.” Even the Privy Council, (which was set up to advise the king about colonial matters,) could not formulate a policy for the colonists as a whole. Therefore, as the American society progressed and developed, these well-functioning representative institutions played an important role. Dating as far back as the Plymouth settlers, the colonies generally conducted themselves; without much outside interference. In this way, they developed individually, and established the right of self-government. These fundamentals, which were created due to the absence of a British governmental policy, changed the path of the American colonial society, and still lie at the center of the democratic framework that exists today.
The prerequisite to the formation of the American colonies was the recognition that their sole purpose was to satisfy the needs of their mother country: Britain. This idea of mercantilism had a profound effect on the economic growth of the thirteen colonies. The colonies were generally “dumping grounds” for surpluses, as well as a place to find raw materials, which would ultimately lead to an income of gold. In order to achieve these goals, Britain passed a series of Navigation Acts, beginning in 1650. They called for British ships to control all trade, and for goods going to the colonies to stop in London first.
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