DEMOCRACY IN COLONIAL AMERICA
Colonial America was democratic. Documents, agreements and other representative actions are a proof of the establishment of a democracy in the colonies. England was not democratic, and the colonies purpose was to separate themselves as much as possible from the Crown and their undemocratic flu. They had freedom of press and religion and were getting accustomed to doing things their way.
Documents such as the Maryland’s Act of Toleration, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and The Lady’s Laws are prove of the spirit of democracy coming to light. Oddly, pubs and taverns are an example of the origin of democracy. Since rich and poor people would be there daily, ideas would be shared and everyone was “forced” to listen to one another.
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was the closest document for political democracy in the 17th century. It is considered the first written constitution of Colonial America. It was formed by elected representatives, which made it a representative government. It stated that two assemblies should be held each year. They were set to discuss and make laws. It’s an example of a democratic document because if a governor neglected his duty, the voters were able to take over. This gave power to people, which literally translates to ‘democracy’.
Another democratic feature of Colonial America was the Virginia’s House of Burgesses. It was the first representative legislative body in the colonies although only men who owned land could vote. It basically provided a voice in the government because you could also choose representatives. In their first meeting in a church at Jamestown, they agreed on the minimum price of sale in tobacco. They would also make and pass laws. Some of the best known Burgesses where: Patrick Henry, who introduced resolutions against the Stamp Act, Thomas Jefferson, who would later on write the Declaration of Independence and George Washington who became America’s...
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