The roots of the factors are found in the beginning of the British colonization program generally, and in the various laws enacted with respect to the colonies--both the colonies generally and the American colonies specifically.
The defeat by the British of the Spanish Armada in 1588, to an extent, opened the way for British colonization in the Americas (Earle 478-499). Initially, however, British interest in colonization was greater with respect to the Orient than it was with the Americas. In 1660, the East India Company was formed by British merchants. Unable to effectively compete in the East Indies with a rival Dutch company, the British company centered its efforts in the Indian sub-continent. The British, through the East India company, gradually attained ascendancy in India over Portuguese, French, and indigenous interests.
The East India Company earned profits on trade in spices and textiles between India and Europe (Earle 478-499). The flood of calico cotton from India to Britain prompted the British parliament to enact legislation to protect English apparel manufacturers. This protective legislation remained in place for 53 years, until the Industrial Revolution provided mechanical devices which enabled English apparel manufacturers to compete with the lower labor costs of the East India Company in India.
In the western hemisphere, Britain established colonies in the West Indies and in North America (McBurney 81-93). For many years, colonies in the Lesser Antilles, the Leeward Islands, Bermuda, and Jamaica were of greater importance to the British than were their North American colonies. On the North American mainland, British colonies were originally established in Central America (British Honduras), Virginia, and New England. Later, colonies were established in the remaining areas along the Atlantic seaboard and in Canada.
An important difference between the British colonies in the eastern hemisphere, a...
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