Colonial New Jersey had a proprietary type of government. A proprietary colony was chartered to a person or several people who were entitled to rule the land with utmost authority.
The first to settle in New Jersey were the Dutch. However, they were soon overrun by the British colonists who divided the land in half. The two partitions were granted to New Jersey's first proprietors, John Berkeley and George Carteret. Berkeley ruled West New Jersey while Carteret was in charge of East New Jersey. Endowed with full governmental powers, both proprietors allowed the settlers to own pieces of land at low prices and to practice politics ad religion without censure.