What Types of Government Were There in New England Colonies?


Quick Answer

When the British began sending settlers to the New World, the New England colonies were governed by one of two types of contracts: royal and charter. The two types of government differed mainly in whether the higher officials were directly responsible to England or to the colony itself.

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Full Answer

The royal colonies, such as New Hampshire, were ruled directly by officials sent from England. Effectively, a royal colony was viewed as good as an actual piece of British land in England. While the colonists elected their own legislature, the governor held the power over taxation.

Charter colonies included Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. These colonies were self-governed and owned all of the rights to their contracts. This means that they were not ruled by any higher officials other than those that they themselves elected.

By 1763, the final year of the Seven Years' War, many of the colonies changed their type of government, with Massachusetts, for instance, becoming a royal colony. It is important to note that there was a third type of colony in the New World, proprietary colonies, but none of the New England colonies were of this type. Regardless of the form of government in a colony, all of the people living in it were subject to the same laws and had the same rights as they would have had back in England.

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