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isant with the convention. He ordered them to disperse on pain of his high displeasure. The convention executed their threat by sending an advocate to Holland to lay their grievances before the States-General. It has been observed how the first germ of democracy or republicanism appeared in New Amsterdam, and was checked in its visible growth by the heel of power. It grew, nevertheless. It was stimulated by the kind acts of Gov. Thomas Dongan (q. v.); and when the English revolution of 1688 had developed the strength of the people's will, and their just aspirations were formulated in the Bill of Rights, it sprang up into a vigorous fruit-bearing plant. Its power was manifested in the choice and administration of Leisler as ruler until a royal governor was appointed, and his death caused the line of separation between democracy and aristocracy—republicanism and monarchy — Leislerians and Anti-Leislerians —to be distinctly drawn. During the exciting period of Leisler's rule, t<
at the town-hall in New Amsterdam, ostensibly to take measures to secure themselves from the depredations of the barbarians around them and sea-rovers. The governor tried in vain to control their action; they paid very little attention to his wishes or his commands. He stormed and threatened, but prudently yielded to the demands of the people that he should issue a call for another convention, and give legal sanction for the election of delegates thereto. These met in New Amsterdam on Dec. 10, 1653. Of the eight districts represented, four were Dutch and four English. Of the nineteen delegates, ten were of Dutch and nine were of English nativity. This was the first really representative assembly in the great State of New York chosen by the people. The names of the delegates were as follows: From New Amsterdam, Van Hattem, Kregier, and Van de Grist; from Breucklen (Brooklyn), Lubbertsen, Van der Beeck, and Beeckman; from Flushing, Hicks and Flake; from Newtown, Coe and Hazard; f
might select nine as representatives of the tax-payers, and who should form a co-ordinate branch of the local government. He tried to hedge them around with restrictions, but the nine proved to be more potent in promoting popular liberty than had Kieft's twelve. They nourished the prolific seed of democracy, which burst into vigorous life in the time of Jacob Leisler (q. v.). Stuyvesant tried to stifle its growth. The more it was opposed, the more vigorous it grew. Late in the autumn of 1653 a convention of nineteen delegates, who represented eight villages or communities, assembled at the town-hall in New Amsterdam, ostensibly to take measures to secure themselves from the depredations of the barbarians around them and sea-rovers. The governor tried in vain to control their action; they paid very little attention to his wishes or his commands. He stormed and threatened, but prudently yielded to the demands of the people that he should issue a call for another convention, and g
y chose twelve citizens to represent them. So appeared the first popular assembly, and so was chosen the first representative congress in New Netherland. It was a spontaneous outgrowth of the innate spirit of democracy that animated the people. The twelve were the vigorous seeds of that representative democracy which bore fruit in all the colonies more than a century later. Again, when the colony was threatened with destruction by the Indians, Kieft summoned the people into council (September, 1643), who chose eight men as the popular representatives to act with the governor in public affairs. Again when Gov. Peter Stuyvesant (q. v.) found the finances of the colony of New Netherland in such a wretched condition that taxation was necessary, he dared not tax the people without their consent, for fear of offending the States-General, so he called a convention of citizens, and directed them to choose eighteen of their best men, of whom he might select nine as representatives of th
q. v.) had resolved to chasten the Raritan Indians for a grave offence. He called upon the people to shoulder their muskets for a fight. They knew his avarice and greed, and withal his cowardice, and boldly charged these things upon him. It is all well for you, they said, who have not slept out of the fort a single night since you came, to endanger our lives and our homes in undefended places, and they refused to obey. This attitude of the people transformed the governor. He invited (Aug. 23, 1641) the heads of families of New Amsterdam to meet him in consultation on public affairs. They assembled at the fort, and promptly chose twelve citizens to represent them. So appeared the first popular assembly, and so was chosen the first representative congress in New Netherland. It was a spontaneous outgrowth of the innate spirit of democracy that animated the people. The twelve were the vigorous seeds of that representative democracy which bore fruit in all the colonies more than a
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