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From the 1620's on, it seems like England was endlessly dealing with battles between parliaments, kings and armies. Did these battles keep English leadership from getting overly involved in the development in the colonies? If so, did that help to create a sense of independence that helped lead toward eventual separation from the mother country; as well as a sense of personal liberty that helped shape the American constitution?

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The 17th century English civil wars fostered a spirit of rebellion in the American colonies. Which led to independence.

Prior to the Civil War, Parliament tried to impose a check on the king through its taxing powers. Charles I demurred. Parliament fought and won a civil war against the king, and chopped off Charles I's head. The winners, Oliver Cromwell's Puritans, had "Puritan" counterparts in the U.S. who had earlier felt oppressed by Charles I, and had left England for "New England."

After the Restoration (of Charles II, the son of Charles I) led to the succession of Charles II's Catholic brother James II, there was a Glorious Revolution to overthrow him, and replace him with his daughter Mary, and son-in-law, William of Orange. Vis-a-vis a woman and a foreigner, Parliament enjoyed more power than usual.

This English war had a counterpart in the "America," where the locals overthrew two Catholic governors appointed by James II, Edmund Andros of the Dominion of New England (which then included New York and New Jersey as well), and Colonel Henry Darnell of Maryland.

And, by implication, England's internal troubles led to a loosening of her hold on the colonies.

But in any event, "Americans" learned to look to the legislative branch of government as a check on the executive branch: "No taxation without representation."

The most famous lines of the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

are followed by: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

This was a lesson that the "Americans" had learned from the English civil wars.

In England, "instituting new government" meant getting a new Englishman. In America, it meant replacing an Englishman with an American, often one born in the Thirteen Colonies, and hence, independence.

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All interesting points, but not what I asked. Certainly the notion of rebellion and the emphasis on representative bodies effected the colonies. I'm asking if the turmoil in England let to a de facto Laissez-faire policy toward the Colonies. –  dwstein Dec 12 '13 at 15:57
    
@dwstein: OK, added another line to address your question: "And, by implication, England's internal troubles led to a loosening of her hold on the colonies." Earlier, I had answered perhaps "two-thirds" of your question, the part that read, "did that help to create a sense of independence that helped lead toward eventual separation from the mother country; as well as a sense of personal liberty that helped shape the American constitution?" –  Tom Au Dec 12 '13 at 16:30
    
With the edit, this sounds like a great answer to the question. +1 from me. –  Joe Dec 12 '13 at 20:52
    
This makes overall sense, but could use a couple of references :) –  DVK Dec 24 '13 at 0:02
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