Great Puritan Migration (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Establishment of the Massachusetts colony and the birth of Puritan influence in New England.
Summary of Event
Credit for the successful establishment of a Puritan commonwealth in North America belongs as much to Charles I, king of England and Puritan antagonist, as to any other single individual. On March 2, 1629, he dissolved Parliament, thereby denying the Puritans a public forum from which to continue their agitation for reforming the Church of England; a few days later, on March 14, he granted a royal charter to the Puritan-controlled Massachusetts Bay Company, which provided the framework for establishing a colony in the New World. By thus harassing the Puritans in old England even as he allowed them to procure a beachhead in New England, Charles virtually guaranteed the success of their colonizing venture.
The charter granted to the Massachusetts Bay Company contained, contrary to established custom, no clause stipulating that the company should hold its meetings in England. This omission enabled several leading Puritan stockholders to carry the charter with them to the New World and so transfer control of both company and colony to North America. Massachusetts thus became an autonomous commonwealth, the government of which evolved out of a transplanted joint-stock company. The stockholders who emigrated to Massachusetts became the voting citizens of the state; the board of directors,...
(The entire section is 1584 words.)
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