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Explain the effect of "power of the purse" by the colonist over royal governors and...

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afernquist | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 14, 2010 at 2:48 AM via web

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Explain the effect of "power of the purse" by the colonist over royal governors and how it serves as a sort  of "checks & balances"

im in the chapter about colonial society of the eve of revolution

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 14, 2010 at 2:53 AM (Answer #1)

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During the colonial period, American colonies were typically ruled by governors who were appointed by the English government.  If the governors had complete power, they would be able to do whatever they wanted to the colonists.

However, the colonists did have the "power of the purse."  The governors' salaries and many other things were paid for by taxes and such that were imposed by assemblies in each colony.  The assemblies were made up of people elected by the colonists.

This is, in effect, a check on the power of the governors.  If the colonists really didn't like how the governors were acting, they could just stop paying them.  In this way, the colonists kept some control over the governors.

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