What Are Three Types of Colonial Government?

The three types of colonial government are royal, proprietary and charter governments. Although all three colony types were considered part of the reigning sovereign’s territory, the law-making process was different for each government type.

Governors of royal colonies were directly chosen by the sovereign and carried out orders issued by the monarch. In contrast, proprietary and charter colonial governments chose their own leaders.

Proprietary governors were elected by the controlling ownership group of the colony and reported directly to the sovereign. Proprietary governors were given more latitude in determining laws. Charter colonies, which formed self-governance contracts with the ruling monarch, had the greatest freedom to determine their own colonial laws.