Characteristics In The Colonies Of America

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The first characteristic in the colonies of America that can be described as democratic would be examples of majority rule in the different facets of the everchanging governmental structures. This characteristic can be seen in the Mayflower Compact which began from forty-one separatists who came across for religious freedom. This compact was designed by those of their religion, and was structured as a “covenant” which grew into a civil government based from that original church government. This compact allowed the group equal say in rules and law, and chose a governor and his assistants by majority rule. The next example of majority rule also was designed from a standpoint of a church organization. Thomas Hooker led congregations from Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut and there organized a self-governing colony. They formed what was called the “Fundamental Orders” which were a series of laws that created a commonwealth based on Christianity. However, different from the Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders were voted on by all members of the community not just church members. The best example of majority rule would be what was called the House of Burgesses in Virginia, but under various other names in other areas, such as the House of Representatives in Massachusetts. These structures of government were formed from elected assemblies, where the “lower” houses were elected by the popular vote. These elected officials were usually wealthy, male property owners which
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