Colonial Government and Politics

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How was self-government developed in the colonies?

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During the Colonial period of American history, settlers made the move from European nations, namely England, in order to escape religious persecution and rely on themselves and their brethren. Seeing as many of the colonies started off smaller, people came together for both church and community events. Active engagement in...

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During the Colonial period of American history, settlers made the move from European nations, namely England, in order to escape religious persecution and rely on themselves and their brethren. Seeing as many of the colonies started off smaller, people came together for both church and community events. Active engagement in civil society was considered important—being involved in the goings-on of the town was normal and encouraged.

It was during community meetings and social or religious engagements that people began to discuss the geographic distance between them and England. Why should England be in charge of how things were decided on the New Continent? Why should royal decree have any standing in this new land?

Primarily because of the geographic distance and difference of thought, colonists began to formulate bodies that would represent their interests and not those of England. The Crown should hold no footing in the day-to-day lives of the colonists. Self-governance stemmed from a desire for independence and liberty, but also the practicality of being able to make choices and relegate actions that were specifically related to the colonists.

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