History of Elections in the American Colonies - Vol. 3

History of Elections in the American Colonies - Vol. 3

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History of Elections in the American Colonies - Vol. 3

History of Elections in the American Colonies - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Throughout the colonial period of American history, beginning at the earliest times and continuing down to the Declaration of Independence, there existed in the various colonies some system of popular elections. Deprived as the colonists were of a voice in the deliberations of the home government, the people of every province, whether royal, proprietary, or chartered, exercised a partial check on the arbitrary rule of the governor and his council, by means of a legislative assembly, whose members were chosen on the basis of a limited popular suffrage. In several of the more northern colonies the people possessed the power of electing their governor and other general officers, while nearly everywhere the more local officials held their positions by virtue of popular suffrage. Nor was this system of election by the people entirely confined to English colonies; for, as we shall see in due course, it obtained a partial, foothold in the Dutch province of New Netherland.

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