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DESIGNS OF CHARLES I. Virginians. His principal aim was to derive profit from their industry. He neither granted nor restricted franchises ; but his first act was to confirm the exclusive trade in tobacco to Virginia and the Somers Isles, aud his next was to proclaim himself, • through his agents, the sole factor of the planters.'
Sir George Yeardley was the successor of governor Wyatt. (1626.) The assemblies were, of course, continued under the administration of the man who had first introduced them. The king did not disturb the Virginians in the exercise of this important civil right. Emigrants continued to arrive in great numbers, and the agriculture and commerce of the colony were in a most flourishing state. * On the death of governor Yeardley, which took place in November, 1627, the council elected Francis West to succeed him. During his administration, the king proposed to the assembly to contract for the whole crop of tobacco; but this attempt to monopolise the chief staple of the colony was met by a decided refusale
In 1629, John Harvey, the governor who had been commissioned by the king, on the decease of Yeardley, arrived in Virginia. He had formerly resided in the colony, and was personally unpopular. A strong party was formed in opposition to him, and when, in some dispute about land titles, he was found to favour the court, in opposition to the interests of the colonies, he was removed from the government and West appointed in his place. He subsequently consented to go to England, with two commissioners on the part of the colonists, in order that their complaints might be heard by the king.
Instead of listening to them, Charles reappointed Harvey, who remained in office till 1639. He has been stigmatised by most of the old historians as a tyrant; but it does not appear that he attempted to deprive the colonists of any of their civil rights. The assemblies were continued as before, and exercised all the powers which they had acquired in Yeardley's time.
His successor was Sir Francis Wyatt, who continued in office till February, 1642, when Sir William Berkeley, having been appointed to succeed him, arrived and assumed the go
What were the views of Charles I?
What governor came out in 1629 ? What was his first act?
What occasioned his return to EngHis next?
land? What is said of Yeardley's admi- What was done by the king? nistration ?
What was Harvey's character ? Of West's ?
What is said of Berkeley ?
59 verament. He recognised and confirmed the privileges which the Virginians had previously enjoyed, and received the cordial support of all parties. Some abuses in the construction and administration of the laws were reformed. Religion was provided for; the mode of assessing taxes was changed for a more equitable one; and the people, under this able and popular governor, enjoyed their civil liberties without disturbance from any quarter.
We must not omit to mention an order of the assembly establishing Episcopacy as the religion of the colony, and banishing all non-conforming ministers. Missionaries from New England, who had come on for the purpose of preaching to the puritan settlements in Virginia, were silenced and ordered to leave the colony. This intolerance was in accordance with the spirit of the age ; and examples of a similar character are not wanting in the history of Massachusetts.
In 1644 the Indians, against whom a hostile spirit had been kept up since the great massacre of 1622, made a sudden attack upon the frontier settlements, and killed about three hundred
persons, before they were repulsed. An active warfare was immediately commenced against the savages, and their king, the aged Oppaconcanough, was made prisoner, and died in captivity. The country was soon placed in a state of perfect security against further aggressions from that quarter. In 1646 a treaty, accompanied with a cession of lands, was concluded between the inhabitants of Virginia and Necontowanee, the successor of Oppaconcanough.
The colony was now in a flourishing state. Its commerce had increased, so that upwards of thirty ships were engaged in the traffic with different ports in New England and Europe The inhabitants, in 1648, had increased to twenty thousand.
In the dispute between Charles I and the parliament of England, Virginia espoused the cause of the king; and when the republicans had obtained the ascendency, a fleet was fitted out from England, for the purpose of reducing the colony to submission.
In the mean time, an ordinance of parliament, of 1650, which forbade all intercourse between the loyal colonies and foreign countries, was rigorously enforced, as well as the act of 1651, which secured to English ships the entire carrying
Of his measures ?
What is said of the commerce of Vir What act of intolerance was passed ? ginia ? Relate the events of the Indian war or the civil war in England ? of 1644.
For what purpose was a fleet fittee
trade with England. When the fleet arrived, commissioners were instructed to reduce the colony to submission. It was found that parliament offered to the colonists, provided they would adhere to the commonwealth, all the liberties of Englishmen, with an amnesty for their past loyalty to the deposed king, and “as free trade as the people of England.' On the other hand, war was threatened in case of resistance.
The Virginians, with their accustomed gallantry, refused to surrender to force, but yielded by a voluntary deed, and a mutual compact.' All the rights of self-government, formerly enjoyed, were again guaranteed. Richard Bennet, who had been one of the commissioners of parliament, was elected governor, and Berkeley retired to private life.
In 1655, and 1658, the assembly of burgesses exercised the right of electing and removing the governor of the colony; and, on occasion of receiving intelligence of the death of Cromwell, they were careful to reassert this right, and require the governor, Matthews, to acknowledge it, in order, as they said, that what was their privilege now, might be the privilege of their posterity.'
On the death of Matthews, the government of England being in an unsettled state, the assembly elected Sir William Berkeley for governor; and, as he refused to act under the usurped authority of the parliament, the colonists boldly raised the royal standard, and proclaimed Charles the Second, as their lawful sovereign. This was an act of great temerity, as it fairly challenged the whole power of Great Britain. 'The distracted state of that country saved the Virginians from its consequences, until the restoration of Charles to the British throne gave them a claim to his gratitude, as the last among his subjects to renounce, and the first to return to their allegiance,
What terms were offered to the Vir- | Who succeeded Matthews ? ginians on its arrival ?
What bold act was performed during Were they accepted ?
Sir William Berkeley's administras Who was elected governor ?
tion ? What was done by the burgesses in Why was it unpunished ?
1655 and 1658
The intelligence of the Restoration was received with enthusiasm in Virginia. It naturally excited hign hopes of favour, which were increased by the expressions of esteem and gratitude, which Charles found no difficulty in addressing to the colonists. These hopes they were, for a short time, permitted to indulge. The assembly introduced many important changes in judicial proceedings; trial by jury was restored; the Church of England, which of course had lost its supremacy during the protectorate, was again established by law; and the introduction of Quakers into the colony was made a penal offence.
The principles of government which prevailed in England during the reign of Charles II, were extended to the colonies, which were now considered as subject to the legislation of parliament, and bound by its acts. The effects of this new state of things were first perceived in the restrictions on commerce. Retaining the commercial system of the Long Parliament, the new house of commons determined to render the trade of the colonies exclusively subservient to English commerce and navigation. One of their first acts was to vote a duty of five per cent. on all merchandise exported from, or imported into any of the dominions belonging to the crown. This was speedily followed by the famous •Navigation Act,' the most memorable statute in the English commercial code.
By this law, among other things, it was enacted, that no commodities should be imported into any British settlement in Asia, Africa, or America, or exported from them, but in vessels built in England, or the plantations, and navigated by crews, of which the master and three-fourths of the mariners should be English subjects, under the penalty of forfeiture of ship and cargo; that none but natural born subjects, or such as had been naturalised, should exercise the occupation of merchant, or factor, in any English settlement, under the penalty of forfeiture of goods and chattels; that no sugar, tobacco, cot
How did the Virginians regard the What act of parliament was pass Restoration in England ?
ed? What was done by the assembly? What were the provisions of the na. What was now the policy of the
vigation act? British government ?
RESTRICTIONS ON COMMERCE.
ton, wool, indigo, ginger, or woods used in dyeing, produced or manufactured in the colonies, should be shipped from them to any other country than England; and to secure the observance of this regulation, the owners were required, before sail. ing, to give bonds, with surety, for sums proportioned to the rate of their vessels. Other articles of merchandise were subsequently added to the list, as they became important to the colonial trade.
As some compensation to the colonies for these commercial restrictions, they were allowed the exclusive privilege of supplying England with tobacco, the cultivation of which was prohibited in England, Ireland, Guernsey, and Jersey. In 1663, the navigation act was enlarged, by prohibiting the importation of European commodities into the colonies, except in vessels laden in England, and navigated and manned according to the provisions already quoted.
At the same time the principle was assumed, and declared, that the commerce of the colonies ought to be confined to the mother country, and that the colonies themselves should be retained in firm and absolute dependence. Not content with this, the parliament proceeded to tax the trade of the several colonies with each other, by imposing a duty on the exportation of the commodities enumerated in the navigation act, from one colony to another, equivalent to what was levied on the consumption of those articles in England.
This colonial system was considered highly conducive to the interests of England ; and was, of course, popular in that country, but it was felt to be unjust and injurious to the colonists, and excited their indignation, as well as a determination to evade it in every possible way.
The Virginians, who had naturally expected distinguishing favours from the restored government, were highly exasperated at this selfish and cruel attack upon their prosperity. They remonstrated against it as a grievance, and petitioned for relief. But Charles, instead of listening to their request, enforced the act with the utmost rigour, by erecting forts on the banks of the principal rivers, and appointing vessels to cruise on the coast. Relief was sought by entering into a clandestine trade with the Dutch, on Hudson river. This, however, was of trifling importance. A conspiracy for throwing off the yoke of England, which has received the name
What was allowed to the colonists? How in America ?
By Birkenhead and others ?