From the beginning of the 17th century to the time of American Independence, Great Britain looked upon its colonies as a means of making the country wealthier and more powerful. The British government used and manipulated every law, declaration and legal act meant for the colonies. They did this to favor the wealthy classes of Britain, namely the royals, nobles, gentry, and merchants and to increase the political and military power of the country. This system of maximizing profit and power came from the theory of mercantilism, used by all of the European nations at the time. The British held this theory sacred in that they hoped to better their empire with the newfound colonies. Overall, this plan backfired though because of Britain's way of taxing and controlling the people of the colonies, which eventually led to uprisings, rebellions, and ultimately the Revolution.
In the early days of exploration, Great Britain or as it was called then "England", was not interested in establishing a presence in the New World. But after the war with Spain ended in 1604, parliament decided that England needed to expand into the new lands. Many reasons factored into this decision. Mainly pressure from interest groups like the Gentry and Urban Merchants, religious clashes, and the fact that the Enclosure Act had left many commoners homeless had the biggest effects on the decision. Also some people thought that England was beginning to get overcrowded. So in 1607, the first settlement was established and it was called Jamestown, Virginia. At first, England didn't know if the settlement was going to work because of all the death and sickness that occurred and the fact that it had no source of income. But all of this changed with the discovery of tobacco. This crop changed everything for the settlement of Virginia and its people. It also provided England's first way of making a profit by using its own people as indentured servants for the harvesting of this crop.