Disputes on Sovereignty During the American Revolution 299 establish stability and order in these new settlements. They were allowed to make their own laws, provided these did not undermine the laws of England or damage its commercial interests. They adopted institutions similar to those in England; with a governor acting in the crown’s role as head of the executive, with a Royal Council acting as the upper chamber of the colonial legislature and as adviser to the governor, and with a lower house of representatives, elected by colonists with the requisite qualifications and with the power to initiate revenue bills. The colonists believed that they should benefit from the same civil liberties as those British subjects who had not migrated. Their legal system was modelled on that of England and they strongly endorsed the limits that the Westminster parliament had placed on the royal prerogative by the English Bill of Rights of 1689 (Lovejoy, 1972: 235-293). The English government and parliament had placed limits on the political and economic activities of the colonists, though these were not as restrictive as they appeared to be. Between 1651 and 1673 the Westminster parliament passed Navigation Acts that required the inward and outward commerce of the American colonies to be carried in English (later British) ships with English (British) crews, but the colonists and their ships qualified under these restrictions. The Navigation Acts also stimulated shipbuilding in the Colonies and the provision of naval stores. Britain placed restrictions on some colonial manufacturing ventures, but the owners of tobacco plantations, for example, found a ready market for their products in Britain and, via British ships, to Europe. They and other exporters also benefited from the supply of financial credit from London and the provision of insurance. The colonial assemblies had to have their legislation approved by the Board of Trade and Plantations in London, but over the period before independence only 469 out of 8563 colonial bills were rejected by the Board. The colonists were required to pay customs duties for the benefit of the Westminster government, but these revenue raising measures from Westminster never raised as much as 2000 pounds in