12 de marzo de 2009

1622-1625

In 1622 arrived Sir Thomas Wyatt, bringing a written constitution from the Company, which confirmed to the colony representative government and trial by jury. The assembly was given authority to make laws, subject only to the Governor's veto. This enlargement of political rights was due to the growth of the sentiment of popular liberty in England. In the meetings of the London Company debates were frequent and spirited between the court faction and the supporters of the political rights of the colonists. James I., dissatisfied with the authority which he had himself granted, appointed a commission to inquire into the Company's management, and also into the circumstances of the colony. A change was recommended, the courts decided as the king wished, and the Company was dissolved, The colony, while still allowed to govern itself by means of its popular assembly, was thus brought directly under the supervision of the Crown. Charles I., coming to the throne in 1625, gave heed to the affairs of the colony only so far as necessary to secure for himself the profits of the tobacco trade, It was doubtless owing to his indifference that the colony continued to enjoy civil freedom. He again appointed Yeardley Governor, a choice agreeable to the people; and in 1628, by asking that the assembly be called in order to vote him a monopoly of the coveted trade, he explicitly recognized the legitimacy and authority of that body.

See also: 1614-1619

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