Who gives the Authority to Colonize in a Charter Colony?

What are Charter Colonies and their Types? Who gives the Authority to Colonize? Who formed Rhode Island and Massachusetts? Why were Charter Colonies preferred?
who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony
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There was a time when powerful countries used to make weaker countries their colonies and get their work done by the citizens of their colonized countries. It was not a happy time for everyone except for the dominating countries and their rulers. These colonies were governed by a body of officials. Have you heard which colonies were charter colonies? How was a charter colony governed and who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony? We will walk through all of them today!

1. What are Charter Colonies?

They are one of the 3 British colonies that were established in the 17th century in North America. It was the colony that received a charter from the King for creating the colony and was operated under the charter by the crown. Must read what are the southern colonies government?

2. Which Colonies were Charter Colonies?

There were 3 types of colonies and in total, they had 13 colonies in them. Which colonies were charter colonies? Take a look at the list mentioned here:

  • Charter Colonies – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Bay Colony, and Rhode Island
  • Proprietary Colonies – Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania
  • Royal Colonies – New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia

3. Who gives the Authority to Colonize in a Charter Colony?

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The king or the queen whosoever was ruling the mother country is said to be in the supreme position of governing all this. He or she was issued the charter, a binding legal document that listed all the rules for making the colony. Moreover, it contained the expectations of the ruler for the colony. (See Who was the Greatest King of ALL TIME?)

4. Who received the Charters?

These charters were given to people with high authority and sound financial positions. Also, they could easily arrange funds if needed for the same in the future. Therefore, joint stock companies were the primary receivers of the charters. After that, any other companies comprising multiple stockholders were given these charters. (See Why does the Texas Constitution create a Fragmented Executive Branch?)

5. Why were these Companies preferred?

After knowing who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony, it will be interesting to read more about charter colonies. As mentioned earlier, funding these colonies was expensive. There were many requirements like machinery, infrastructures, and other supplies that were required for a colony to run.

A standing colony with no development was useless to the King and it would not benefit the government either. Therefore, these joint stock companies were preferred for their ability to raise funds from their different stocks. One such colony that was created as a Charter Colony was Jamestown, later it came to be known as Virginia. (See Why is government necessary?)

6. Were All Colonies created through Companies?

No, not all the charters were given to the companies or joint stock companies. There was an exception in the case of Massachusetts. It was a charter colony that was created by a religious group. The group was named Pilgrims and it was a group of 1000 Puritan refugees. They named the colony Massachusetts Bay Colony. The group was governed by Governor John Winthrop and Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley. (See Why making Political Allies is a Key Strategy for Lobbyists?)

7. Who formed Rhode Island?

Roger William was a political and religious leader in Colonial America. He was earlier in Massachusetts but he had his religious beliefs and his urge to separate the church from the state. Since Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by a religious group, they banished him. After this, he laid the foundation for Rhode Island. This charter colony was founded on the principles of complete religious tolerance, political democracy, and separation of the Church from the State. (See Rhode Island smallest Sate in the USA)

8. Was a Company allowed to Apply for a Charter?

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After the rule came into force that the joint stock companies will be given a charter of forming new charter colonies, different companies wanted to try their hand at it. Acquiring enough money by selling and raising their shares for purchase, the company could apply to the king for a charter and he would give them the authority to colonize a charter colony.

The King then checked the resources and claims made by the company and if all things were in good shape, then the charter was allotted to the company. After this, the company recruited colonists, set up a government, and laid the foundation of a colony. (See What is the difference between a Senator and a Governor, and which is higher in rank?)

9. What was the Governmental Structure of these Colonies?

Before we understand how a charter colony was governed, let’s go through the governmental structure of these colonies. Every colony was independent of each other and many of these colonies were not very fond of each other. However, despite their differences, these colonies share the same standard governmental structure, as mentioned below.

  • Every colony was under the rule of the King of England as he was the absolute ruler and governing body.
  • Every person living in these colonies was considered to be a British citizen. All the residents of the colonies had to follow British rules.

10. How was a Charter Colony governed?

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Who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony? It was the King. The government was under the control of the King who divided the governmental structure into three branches namely, executive, legislative, and judicial. Take a look below to know how was a charter colony governed.

  • Divided Government Structure and Their Duties: Executive department looked after the laws and carried them out. They checked if the laws were being followed or not. The Judicial department was the one to interpret the laws. They were the officials to make and change the laws.  The legislative department was the lawmaker. Individuals would hold different positions simultaneously. This is something more interesting to know besides answering who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony
  • A System of Checks and Balances: A system in which each branch of the government had individual powers to check other branches is known as the system of checks and balances. This system prevented the concentration of power in the hands of only one branch. Through this system, any government department could not dominate others by holding extra powers.
  •  Appointment By The King: The Governor and a council of governors were appointed by the King of England. After this, the colonists were required to select an assembly of representatives.

11. Why do Colonists prefer Charter Colonies?

These colonies were founded by companies which is why they enjoyed a higher level of self-government than other colonies. The Joint Stock Company was the controller of land distribution and it was allowed to take an active part in the colonial government too. Colonists preferred charter colonies because of the freedom they allowed. (See Which Settlers migrated to the Backcountry and Why?)

12. Can a Charter Colony become a Royal Colony?

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It all depends on the wish of the King of England, who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony. Like it was in the case of Massachusetts when the king felt that he wanted more control, he simply revoked the charter and the colony was completely under the control of the king.

So, in the end, it was the king who gives the authority to colonize in a charter colony and a lot depends on him. Hope you liked this article and find it a good read.  (Also read Who was the Most Hated Queen?)

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