Maryland's Revolution of Government, 1689-1692

Maryland's Revolution of Government, 1689-1692

Maryland's Revolution of Government, 1689-1692

Maryland's Revolution of Government, 1689-1692

Excerpt

In 1689 three “glorious” revolutions occurred in the English mainland plantations of North America: in Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts. Only fifteen years earlier, a rebellion had disrupted Virginia. The late seventeenth century in America was a “time of troubles,” a time of social and political unrest.

There has been much speculation about the meaning of these events, yet little is known about them. This book analyzes the most neglected of the disorders, the revolution of 1689 in Maryland, and attempts to answer certain questions about it: What social, economic, and institutional as well as political developments preceded and followed the overthrow of the proprietor? Who participated in the revolt, and how did the population line up on either side? Was the revolution pervasive and disruptive of social stability, or was it confined to political struggles at the provincial level? How was it related to the stage of social and political organization that had developed in Maryland by 1689?

Well-founded answers to such questions require hard digging in records previously little used. Similar questions need to be raised and discussed for other colonies, including those that did not experience rebellions. It can then be asked what the disorders of the late seventeenth century had in common and why rebellions occurred in some colonies and not in others.

One reason for scholarly neglect of the Maryland revolution is the absence of records. From August 1689 to April 1692, the council and offices of central government ceased to function...

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