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Comparison of the Confederation of the United Colonies of New England and the Dominion of New England - Research Paper Example

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Name: Course: Date: Confederation of the United Colonies of New England and the Dominion of New England Introduction During the colonization of America by Britain, several colonies were established, which were based on different fundamentals. While some of the colonies were established as commercial colonies, others were established as religious colonies, while yet others were established as crown colonies…
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Comparison of the Confederation of the United Colonies of New England and the Dominion of New England
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Confederation of the United Colonies of New England and the Dominion of New England Introduction During the colonization of America by Britain, several colonies were established, which were based on different fundamentals. While some of the colonies were established as commercial colonies, others were established as religious colonies, while yet others were established as crown colonies. Nevertheless, a time came when the administration of these colonies was to be centralized, requiring the formation of unified colony camps that gave birth to two different camps, namely the United Colonies of New England and the Dominion of New England. While the United Colonies of New England was the first to be established in 1643, the Dominion of New England was established later in 1689 (Barnes, 27). The following is the history of the establishment of these united colony fronts, their forms of government structure and the ways in which they were different: History of the New England Confederation This is an alliance of the English colonies that was established on the basis of religion and defense. The alliance comprised of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven regions, which formed the puritan colonies (The New England Confederation, 169). The puritan colonies comprised of an alliance of English Protestants that had been established in the 16th century. Thus, the formation of the New England Confederation in may 1643 was to bring these puritan colonies together to support the church, while also protecting the colonies against the other colonies that were inhabited by the Native Americans and the Dutch (The New England Confederation, 171). The desire to unite the colonies occupied by the British was sparked off by the war that occurred between two American native tribes of the Mohegan and Narragansetts, which threatened to destabilize the region and cause the disintegration of colonies (The New England Confederation, 185). This provided a good platform against which the British colonies negotiated for a unified alliance to support their church and protect their combined interests. However, the unity of the alliance was short-lived, disintegrating in 1654, after Massachusetts failed to join and support the British against Netherlands in the First Anglo-Dutch War, only to regain unity in 1676 during King Philip's War, and finally dissolving in 1680 after the revocation of the charters that provided for the unity of the colonies (The New England Confederation, 172). History of the Dominion of New England The Dominion of New England refers to the administrative union of the English colonies that lasted the period 1686-1689, and eventually dissolved without achieving most of its objectives (Laws of the Dominion of New England, 204). This administrative unit was very expansive, stretching from Penobscot Bay in the north to Delaware River in the south (Barnes, 33). Considering that most of the British colonies operated differently, with some operating under the crown and others under the leadership of certain individuals, there was a need to bring these colonies under a unified system of governance, to enhance the control of their trade. The colonies also presented some problems to the king of England at the time, King Charles II, who postulated that such problems could only be overcome by uniting the colonies under one administrative unit (Laws of the Dominion of New England, 238). However, the unification of these colonies was particularly difficult, due to the resistance by some colonies which deemed the unification inappropriate. Massachusetts in particular proved to be the center of resistance, due to its intolerant nature of other churches other than the puritans, including the Kings own, Church of England (Barnes, 41). Nevertheless, a charter was eventually effected after a long period of struggle to unify the colonies, which eventually saw the colonies form the Dominion of New England in 1686 that lasted only a few years and collapsed in 1689 (Laws of the Dominion of New England, 212). Why did each entity come into existence? The New England Confederation came into existence with the objective of protecting the colonies against the other colonies that were inhabited by the Native Americans and the Dutch (The New England Confederation, 171). Additionally, the colonies united for the sake of supporting the church, since they were opposed to the intrusion of other churches into their regions. The doctrines of the protestant churches that had unified under the puritan colonies were more stringent as opposed to those of other churches which offered more freedom. Therefore, the formation of the New England Confederation was aimed at preserving the sanctity of the church (The New England Confederation, 188). On the other hand, the Dominion of New England came into existence to streamline the administration into fewer centers (Laws of the Dominion of New England, 247). The unification also sought to regulate trade, coordinate matters of defense for the colonies and to increase their religious freedoms (Barnes, 24). Explain the governmental structure of each The New England Confederation had a government structure made up of 8 commissioners, comprising of 2 commissioners drawn from each colony, which served as the governing directorate (The New England Confederation, 175). On the other hand, the Dominion of New England had a government structure that took the form of a council of representatives at the top, who were drawn from various colonies that formed the dominion. However, due to administrative costs and inconveniences, the dominion came under the administration of a single individual, starting with Sir Edmund Andros (Laws of the Dominion of New England, 253). In what ways were the two organizations different? The major difference between The New England Confederation and the Dominion of New England is the fact that, while the Dominion of New England was imposed on the colonies by the government, the formation of New England Confederation was a voluntary move by the colonies themselves to protect their interests (The New England Confederation, 176). Additionally, while the New England Confederation was ruled by a directorate of commissioners representing each colony, the Dominion of New England started under the governance of a council of representatives and later changed to run under the governance of a single individual (Barnes, 36). Works Cited Barnes, Viola F. The Dominion of New England: A Study in British Colonial Policy. New York: F. Ungar Pub. Co, 1960. Print. Laws of the Dominion of New England, 1686: From the Only Known Copy of the Original Issue, Now in the Archives of the State of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H: O.G. Hammond, 1928. Print. The New England Confederation. 1643: Articles of Confederation between the Plantations under the Governmente of Massachusetts, New-Plymouth, Connecticut, and Ye New-Haven in Combination. Boston: Directors of the Old South Work, 1906. Print. Read More
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