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Chapter 14: The colonies on the Chesapeake Bay. FOR more than eight years, the people of Vir- Chap. XIV.} 1652 to 1660 ginia had governed themselves; and their government had been conducted with wise moderation. Tranquillity and a rapid increase of population promosed the extension of its borders; and colonial life was sweetened by the enjoyment of equal franchises. No trace of established privilege appeared in its code or its government; in its forms and in its legislation, Virginia was a representative democracy; so jealous of a landed aristocracy, that it insisted on universality of suffrage; so hostile to the influence of commercial wealth, that it would not tolerate the mercenary ministers of the law; so considerate for religious freedom, that each parish was left to take care of itself. Every officer was, directly or indirectly, chosen by the people. The power of the people naturally grew out of the character of the early settlers, who were, most of them, adventure
the prudence of Massachusetts restrain the colonies; in England, Roger Williams Williams, in Knowles, 263.delayed an armament against New Netherland. It is true, that the West India Company, dreading an attack from New England, had instructed 1652 Aug. 15. their governor to engage the Indians in his cause. Albany Records, IV. 84. But compare Albany Records, IV. 120; VII. 147—150: Trumbull, i. 202: Second Amboyna Tragedy, Hazard, II. 257: Documents, in Hazard, II. 204—272: Verplanck, in toms; and when redress was refused, tyranny was followed by its usual consequence—clandestine associations against oppression. Ibid. IV. 25, 29, 30, 33, 68. The excess of complaint obtained for New Amsterdam a court of justice like that of the 1652 April 4. metropolis; but the municipal liberties included no political franchise; the sheriff Ibid. XIII. 96—99; VIII. 139—142. was appointed by the governor; the two burgomasters and five schepens made a double nomination of their own succe