British Imperial Aspirations

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When the British Empire started to expand, it was originally able to successfully meet the needs of all of its citizens, whether they were within the confines of the island or across an ocean, surrounded by enemy territory. The colonies formed with moderate amounts of direct help from Britain’s mainland government, who mostly intervened as needed to protect the colonists. Protection, as it began, was meant to be a physical defense, ensuring the safety of colonial boundaries from European invaders (e.g. the French) and angry, dislocated Native Americans. In the 1600s, as the English colonized North America, they had to utilize all of their resources, including armed British support, to defend themselves against outside forces who wanted …show more content…
While the colonists saw themselves as a distinct due to their separation, they still believed that they were British citizens living in colonial America as a part of the British Empire, earning the same rights and status as their counterparts across the Atlantic Ocean. Over time, under British control, colonial protection slowly extended more and more past physical boundaries and also into a more abstracted area of British vulnerability, such as economic policies. The British especially wanted to protect the colonies as a part of their empire because of the financial benefits gained from their growth and existence. If the British could continue to secure these lands and weaken their enemies’ economies, they could continue to strengthen imperial aspirations. This focus on the colonies as a pawn within the empire and not a distinct entity is what started friction between the British Parliament and its colonies …show more content…
There was one important caveat that Britain did not quite understand was a part of this reality: the Parliament had to work with the colonists, successfully receiving voluntary cooperation in order for the colonists to agree to an imposed tax. An example of parliamentary policy that began to irritate the colonists about Britain’s use of parliamentary power were the White Pines Acts (1711, 1722, and 1729). This was a form of internal legislation because it required these sellers to keep the navy’s stock of trees aside before selling to other purchasers. Luckily, this legislation was able to be disregarded by the colonists, as they controlled the land in the colonies. In order to finally get the colonists to agree to this legislature, above market prices were guaranteed for navy white pines, increasing British control in the colonies once more. While this was complex, it did show a level of respect from the colonists towards the British Empire. Respect was key to the relationship between the Crown and the colonies, not anything as extreme as hatred (Maier, 9–11,

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