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[264] years the unhappy province had been distracted by
Chap. VII.}
dissensions, of which the root had consisted in the claims that Baltimore had always asserted, and had never been able to establish. What should now be done? England was in a less settled condition than ever. Would the son of Cromwell permanently hold the place of his father? Would Charles II. be restored? Did new revolutions await the colony? new strifes with Virginia, the protector, the proprietary, the king? Wearied with long convulsions, a general assembly saw no security but in asserting the power
of the people, and constituting the government on the expression of their will. Accordingly, just one day
Mar. 12.
before that memorable session of Virginia, when the people of the Ancient Dominion adopted a similar system of independent legislation, the representatives of Maryland, convened in the house of Robert Slye, voted themselves a lawful assembly, without dependence on any other power in the province. The burgesses of Virginia had assumed to themselves the election of the council; the burgesses of Maryland refused to acknowledge the rights of the body claiming to be an upper house. In Virginia, Berkeley yielded to the public will; in Maryland, Fendall permitted the power of the people to be proclaimed. The representatives of Maryland, having thus successfully settled the government, and hoping for tranquillity after years of storms, passed an act, making it felony to disturb the order which they had established. No authority would henceforward be recognized, except the assembly, and the king of England.1 The light of peace .promised to dawn upon the province.

1 Bacon, 1659-60. McMahon, 212. Chalmers, 224, 225. Griffith, 18. Ebeling, v. 709. The German historian is remarkably temperate. All others have been unjust to the legislature of Maryland.

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