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Massachusetts Bay Colony

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Autor:   •  March 2, 2011  •  690 Words (3 Pages)  •  903 Views

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The government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was simultaneously theocratic, democratic, oligarchic, and authoritarian in different ways. The Puritans founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1628 and wanted a well-established government, but they ended up mixing all of these together. This colony was important because it was one of the first provincial and true governments to be introduced into the colonies. It also provided an example to other colonies to base their governments on.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony can be said to have been partly theocratic based on a couple of reasons. For example, the Puritans believed that they had a covenant with God to build a society that would be a model for humankind. This shows partly theocracy because everyone believed in and worshipped a God to help them build a society. Another example is that the colonies franchise was extended to all adult males who were a part of the Puritans congregation. This caused all non-domination or churchless people unable to vote. This also shows the theocratic idea behind this government and how the church and God influenced the decisions of the colony and provided a background to establish their government on.

The Bay Colony was also based on a partly democratic government. The government was partly democratic because the people of the colony elected a governor and his assistants annually. This wasn't a true democracy because only the men that were true members of the church were eligible, which in turn goes back to the theocratic idea of the government. The government was also partly democratic because it treated everyone the same when dealing with laws and taxes. Basically no matter who you were the laws still applied to you and so did the taxes.

The colony was partly oligarchic in a few ways also. The oligarchic part of the government was from the governor and his assistants. Although they were elected into office, the colony was just a colony and not a state or part of a country yet, so therefore the governor was the highest government official. This makes the colony somewhat of an oligarchy because there was only one person telling everyone what to do and how to do it. This control from a small group of people may have been what the people thought was the right thing to do at the time, but it was somewhat why they had come to the "New World" in the first place was to get rid of a single person ruling everyone.

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