Entradas

Mostrando las entradas de marzo 12, 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 t…

1614-1619

The year 1614 was distinguished by the marriage of Pocahontas, daughter of the native chief Powhatan, to the English colonist Rolfe. With him she visited England, dying there a few years later. The alliance secured the valuable friendship of Powhatan and his subjects--only till Powhatan's death, however. Thenceforth savage hostilities occurred at frequent intervals. In 1622 they were peculiarly severe, over three hundred settlers losing their lives through them. Another outbreak took place about 1650, this time more quickly suppressed. We shall see in a later chapter how Bacon's Rebellion was occasioned by Indian troubles.

As James I. broke with Parliament, a majority of the Virginia shareholders proved Liberals, and they wrought with signal purpose and effect to realize their ideas in their colony. To this political complexion of the Virginia Company not only Virginia itself, but, in a way, all America is indebted for a start toward free institutions.
During the governorship …