Initially, the English monarch didn't exercise much power over his colonists entrusting colonization to private interests licensed by royal charters. ‘British America’ looks at the changing ways that the British back home managed their colonies in America. Later in the seventeenth century, the Crown sought tighter controls over the colonies, to better regulate and tax commerce. They had begun to recognise the connection between overseas colonies, commercial expansion, and national power. Their main rival initially were the Dutch. Later, the colonists and the British felt a new commonality as Protestants when they faced Catholic France, which became the empire's greatest enemy.