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Virginia House of Burgesses - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: History and Political Science I). What is the significance of the Virginia House of Burgesses, founded in 1620, to the concept of representative government in the present day United States of America? (What is the legacy to us fortunate Americans today of the Virginia House of Burgesses?…
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Virginia House of Burgesses
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Download file to see previous pages This house did establish a tradition that became very important in the course of colonial developments and as such, each and every new colony of England started demanding that it be given its own legislature. This house became empowered to come up and enact legislation for the colony, albeit its actions were still not conclusive as they were subject to any veto by the council, governor, and the directors who were in London. It was a limited monarchy within the English people. The assembly was later listed by some of the most prominent people in the history of America such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry who brought strong leadership roles that saw the country gain independence. There were three major events that made Virginia significant in the history of the USA. These were the recruitment of almost 100 maids that sailed to Virginia and were made brides for the settlers to increase the number of people. Sir George Yeardley went to the colony with what was referred to as the Great Charter which did set up the English Common Law in Virginia and thereafter allowed the locals to be elected as representatives. The meeting of the first House of Burgesses was done in the Church in 1619 and this became the start of governance by representation in the USA (Breen 16-278). The significance of Jamestown comes from the fact that it was the first permanent English settlement in the North America and was set up in the year 1607 and this did remain the sole capital of Virginia for almost a century. It acted as the foundation of the independent United States of America. A historic triangle was formed by linking Jamestown to Yorkton and Williamsburg through a legislation that was passed in 1930 forming the Colonial National Monument. The Virginia State Capitol housed the colonial legislative body of the commonwealth and this was the Virginia General Assembly. This general assembly is simply a bicameral body that is made up of the lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates having one hundred members, and the senate of Virginia which had 40 members. It thus consisted of 140 elected representatives across equal amounts of constituents in the commonwealth. Major changes occurred in the status of slaves in Virginia whereby the indentured black servant who had some hope for freedom was fast replaced by the black slave. The Virginia General assembly passed a declaration that highly affected the African Americans. The servants that were originally not Christians in their homeland were to be accounted and made slaves. All the Indians, Negros and Mulatto slaves were to be held as real estate. It was allowed to kill a slave by a master who needs to correct such slave. Harsh physical punishment was imposed since they could not pay fines due to lack of ownership. Lashes, chopping off of limbs and body parts and hanging was allowed (Fischer and Hinderaker 8-267). John Peter Zenger was a German immigrant that ran a publication print with the name New York Weekly Journal. It brought to fore the corrupt practices of William Cosby who was the then royal governor. It accused the government of letting the enemy to vary out an exploration of New York harbor and for rigging elections. It labeled the governor an idiot based on crimes allegedly committed by him. Zenger’s printing of these articles landed him in jail since he could not reveal the anonymous writers. It was against the people’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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