What was the government like in the middle colonies? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Dutch settled in The Middle Colonies in 1624 but the region, especially New York, grew to accommodate immigrants from different parts of Europe. This mixture of cultures made the colonies tolerant to diversity, however, the Dutch relied on an authoritarian government with no elective legislative body unlike other colonists who supported democratic systems of governance. The political situation created by the Dutch was resisted especially by the English who supported representative assemblies. After initial struggles the English prevailed in introducing representative legislative bodies. The representatives were drawn from each town and selected by the freemen. The colonies appointed royal governors with support from the colonys’ proprietor and the monarchy. The members of the colonies established governments guided by written constitutions that could be amended. The townships and the county colonies were forced to share the power of the local governments as was the case in New York and Pennsylvania.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial