Justice in Early America
After making the journey from England to America, the people had to basically remake their entire life. One crucial part of this rebirth was the government. Without this new start, our system would not be what it is today. However, this was not an easy process nor was there a common agreement as to how the system should work in each state. This createddifferent governments among the states. Although they were very different, they did revolve around the same central idea: freedom and fairness.
The pilgrims who came from England were very eager to leave behind their monarchy or a government where power is held by one person, usually a king or a queen. This is exactly what they did not want forming in the United States so theycame up with a government called a democracy (American Colonial Government). A democracy gives common people a say in what goes. This gave more freedom to the people and was totally different from what they had experienced in England. The idea of having everyone have a say in the government was a new and genius idea to them. What was going on in England was not working for them and they thoughtgiving everyone a chance to talk would help ameliorate the issues they faced. Even though they aimed for a democracy, it did not always stay this way. There were a couple of varying ideas on how to handle the government.
Before separation of church and state was created, many tried to tie it all into one. This created the government known as a theocracy. A theocracy is form ofgovernment where a god is recognized as a civil ruler (American Colonial Government). Many of the New England states turned more towards this rather than a democracy. This did not work out real well. Massachusetts is a prime example of this. People were not given much freedom and going out and doing anything on your own was super suspicious. If you weren’t going to church often enough, you could beaccused of witch craft such as the men and woman in the story The Crucible.
While some went the theocracy way, others turned to a form of government called an oligarchy. This was a form of government that gave power mainly to those who were in a dominant class. This was usually white males and wealthy land owners. For wanting to leave a country who only gave power toone person, this is not too much different. It was not a fair government by any means. The common people had no say in what went on and majority of the people were not represented. Groups such as blacks, woman, the poor, etc. were not even counted as voters.
\ Massachusetts and Virginia were located in completely different regions of colonial America, better known as the thirteencolonies. Massachusetts was located in the New England Colonies, which were filled with forests and numerous states that bordered the Atlantic Ocean. The New England Colonies flourished from overseas trading and had access to build ports all throughout New England, perfect for fishing and trade. In Virginia, the land was perfect for farming. Most of Virginia and its land were occupied withplantations and farm owners (Colonial Virginia).
Massachusetts and Virginia were both part of the colonial assemblies. In Massachusetts in particular, the colonial assemblies enjoyed the power. Massachusetts consisted of the general courts, which held more power than all the other colonial assemblies, the lower house and the upper house. These houses were based off the English systemof government where the lower house was elected by popular vote and the upper house was chosen by the vote of the lower house. There was a slight difference in Virginia, (Colonial Virginia) the governor would elect the upper house instead of the lower house. The courts in both colonies were at the bottom and judges were appointed by the governor. Soon times changed as the colonies began to bustle...
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