By the 17th century, British citizens, for economic reasons or for religious oppression, flocked toward the New World to begin a community that honored their natural laws. Some flocked towards present day New England in order to obtain religious freedom while others left for the Chesapeake Bay to reap economic rewards, but Britain perceived the colonization of the New World as an addition to imperialism. These differentiating reasons for settlement eventually lead the colonists to revolution. As the colonials laid down the foundations for their new society, benign neglect, brought forth by the British, allowed the colonies to establish their own method of rule, including freedom of religion and their own government system which, over a long period of time, developed a sense of nationalism in the minds of many colonists. After virtually uninterrupted self rule, the colonials’ natural righ
ts were usurped by the British in order to make up for a massive debt that Britain had acquired during the French and Indian War. Britain had again violated the natural rights of the colonists, and in reaction to the Stamp Act, the Stamp Act Congress was created in order to show England that the colonists had natural rights and grievances that could not be taken away by the British. Adam Smith, the "father of modern economics", virulently stated his view on British mercantilism. In The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson states, "This history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation, all having in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. Many colonists felt that mercantilism was debasing, and that the colonies were being kept in a state of economic adolescence (Kennedy 125). Britain thought of the colonies not as an extension to the empire, but instead territory to improve the well-being of British commercial interests. The Navigation Act of 1650, stating that all commerce traveling to and from the colonies had to be transported in British vessels, was brought back in the 1700"tms. In 1765, parliament passed the Stamp Act, which made it mandatory for the colonists to affix a stamp on all commercial documents; something that was never before issued in the colonies. In order to amass wealth, Britain tried to use the colonies as tenants, suppliers that manufactured essential goods for the mother country and only allowed to buy manufactured goods exclusively from Britain. "To prohibit a great people, however, from making all that they can of every part of their own produce, or from employing their stock and industry in the way that they judge most advantageous to themselves, is a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind"(Kennedy 123). Due to the invasion of the colonists"tm natural rights by economic taxation and political intervention, the excerpt by Thomas Jefferson in The Declaration of Independence is valid. The colonists felt that is was legitimate for parliament to make decisions concerning the empire as a whole, but that parliament could not tax the colonists if they were not allowed to be represented in parliament. Although the shipping industry developed from the act, it was a hassle and the principle was also invading their natural rights. Mercantilism, an economic system in which a nation could gain power and wealth by exporting more than importing, was established in order to recover the substantial debt that was accumulated during the French and Indian War.