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Chapter VI

Restrictions on colonial commerce

ascending the throne in his twenty-fifth year,
Chap VI.} 1625 Mar. 27.
Charles I. inherited the principles and was governed by the favorite of his father. The rejoicings in consequence of his recent nuptials, the reception of his, bride, and preparations for a parliament, left him little leisure for American affairs. Virginia was esteemed by the monarch as the country producing tobacco, its inhabitants were valued at court as planters, and prized according to the revenue derived from the staple of their industry. The plantation, no longer governed by a chartered company, was become a royal province and an object of favor; and, as it enforced conformity to the church of England, it could not be an object of suspicion to the clergy or the court. The king felt an earnest desire to heal old grievances, to secure the personal rights and property of the colonists, and to promote their prosperity. Franchises were neither conceded nor restricted; for it did not occur to his pride, that, at that time, there could be in an American province any thing like established privileges or vigorous political life; nor was he aware that the seeds of liberty were already germinating on the borders of the Chesapeake. His first Virginian measure was a proc-
April 9.
lamation on tobacco; confirming to Virginia and the Somer Isles the exclusive supply of the British market,

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