Democratic Colonial America: Cause and Effect of the Great Awakening

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1.) American society wasn’t that democratic during the colonial days. Although it was much more democratic than England, it still wasn’t quite there yet. The constitution wasn’t signed and agreed upon until 1787, and before the turn of the 18th century, the colonies were a big mess. Most cities had an oligarchy, meaning a religious leader was in charge, making everyone abide by their rules, although it was often less religious and more on the tyrannical side. There wasn’t much separation of church and state. The only people who could vote were members of the church in most colonies, although some colonies allowed white men who owned property to have the right of franchise. People were hung, flogged, and exiled. Indentured servants had it bad, and were accused of the littlest things. African American slaves were sold as property and had no rights. Women were confined to the house of their husband and were essentially treated as property as well. The beginning of New Netherland, of what was to soon become New York, the Dutch established a patroon system, in which feudal-like rights were given to the few wealthy and powerful landholders. In Virginia, the colonial assembly shared power with a royally appointed governor. Locally, the power was invested in county courts, which were self-appointed. Rhode Island began with an egalitarian constitution, which provided for majority rule in civility. In Massachusetts Bay colony, only members of the church were allowed to vote, but later on, landholders were given the right of franchise. New England was governed by the Dominion of New England for a short period of time, where governor Edmund Andros caused anger among the population. A group of Bostonians captured Andros and the Dominion of New England was dissolved and colonial charters were given back. The middle colonies had a large degree of political diversity. In south Carolina, the proprietary government was evoked, but collapsed, selling all the colonies to the...
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