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this number, which might be introduced from time to time by the general court. To the governor was also reserved the right of “nominating, and with the advice of his council, appointing to all military and judicial offices, those of the Court of Admiralty excepted, which were reserved to the Crown. And the general court was invested with full power to levy taxes, “and make all wholesome laws and ordinances, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to the laws of England.” “ All laws, however, were to be sent to England for approbation or disallowance," and if disallowed by the Crown within three years, they were to become void. *
Under the previous charters, and by the legislation that took place by authority of them, most of the “public rights of Englishmen,” known in those days, were secured by the colonists. Under this Charter of 1691, whatever liberties had been omitted were gradually introduced ; a “ Habeas Corpus” Act, which was at first disallowed, having been ex
* $ 71.
tended to the colonies in the reign of Queen Anne.
Entails were recognised by the law, but not encouraged by the policy of the State. Nevertheless, the principle of preferring the eldest son was so far admitted, that in cases of intestacy a double portion was assigned to him.
In regard to ecclesiastical matters, liberty of conscience was granted by the Charter of 1691, “to all Christians, except Papists;" and “ample provision” was made “for the congregational church, exclusive of all others."*
The above were the general principles of government and legislation in the two “original and parent colonies ;” and the eight others already enumerated followed in the same general course. Maryland received its first Charter in 1632, and its first legislative assembly was held in 1634. Its charter is remarkable as containing no clause requiring the transmission of the laws passed in the province, to the Crown, for its approval. New York, at the Revolution of 1688, declared itself
entitled to all the privileges of British subjects, and in 1691, on the arrival of the governor appointed by the Crown, proceeded to call a legislative assembly, and to pass Acts declaratory of their rights and privileges as Englishmen. New Jersey, in 1664, adopted a similar form of government, which was continued by the Charter of Queen Anne, of 1702. Pennsylvania dates its government, of the same form, from 1681, and Delaware from 1703; North Carolina from 1662, after which followed the impracticable, highly aristocratic constitution of John Locke, which filled the interval from 1669 to 1693, and which was, after some intervening troubles, succeeded by the constitution of 1720: South Carolina dates her constitution from 1732, and Georgia from the year 1751.*
And in these same States, the descent of property was—in the largest and perhaps the most important of them—in New York, in North and South Carolina, and in Georgiathe same as in England, and remained the
* $$ 74 to 145.
same in the Carolinas until the year 1791. In New York, indeed, “ the common law course of descents appears to have been silently but exclusively followed ; and perhaps New York was more close in the adoption of the policy and legislation of the parent country before the Revolution than any other colony."* In Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Plymouth, the eldest son, in case of intestacy, was to have a double portion. The sole exception among these States to this course of policy was Maryland, in which estates were made partible among all the children.
In this large group of States, therefore, comprising ten out of the original thirteen, a moderate system of representative government, with a full acknowledgment of and acquiescence in the due prerogatives of the Crown, subsisted from the period of their first charters of government, down to their separation from this country; and at the same time, during the whole of that period, embracing, in most of the cases, upwards of a
century, the habits and feelings engendered by such a form of government, and by the descent of property in more or less strict conformity with the custom of the mother country, existed in full force in each of those colonies.
The remaining three only of the thirteen original colonies New Plymouth, Connecticut, and Rhode Island were in their first organisation thoroughly democratic. The first of these, the brave and hardy colonists before mentioned, * in number only forty-one adult males, who landed at Cape Cod in the depth of an American winter, drew up and signed before their landing, on the 11th November, 1620, the memorable compact by which they established for themselves a simple form of government, “in its essence a pure democracy,” and under which they proceeded to elect a governor and other officers, and to enact laws. Connecticut, or rather the three towns that then formed the State, framed in 1638 its own constitution, by which it was provided that there should be two general assemblies annually, and
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