The king of England chartered and appointed governors to the colonies of New England. Despite the overarching authority established by England's parliamentary monarchy, pilgrims in the colonies did participate in their government without being fully democratic. The Colonial Legislature was formed through the election of candidates by land owning males. The Atlantic Ocean was a physical barrier between England and the colonies, giving pilgrims a greater perception of self-governance. Eventually, in 1774, the colonies realized they had more leverage in negotiations with England if they worked together. Thus, the Continental Congress was established.
The colonies were a valuable commodity in England's trade; many laws imposed by the king revolved around the colonies' roles as consumers and producers. The Sugar Act of 1764 was a commodity taxation aimed at generating revenue for England. The Tea Act of 1773 eliminated competition from the tea market in the colonies. Tea, rather than coffee, was consumed daily in most households. This act generated revenue for an English company called the British East India Tea Company. New England and England struggled to balance each others needs for autonomy and revenue within merchant trade.