Cotton Mather the Puritan Priest

Cover of book Cotton Mather the Puritan Priest
Categories: Fiction » Classic

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he Charter.?The Beginning Of Cotton Mather's Ministry. 1678-1686. The next eight years were among the most critical in the history of Massachusetts. From the settlement the Colony had been governed under a royal charter, granted to the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in 1629. Under this, as we have seen, none but church-members had been freemen. Church-members had elected all political officers; they had established their own system of law ; on their actions, and on their actions alone, rested everything in the rapidly strengthening community; not so inuch as the title to an acre of land came from any other source. The relation of the Colony to the Crown, in short, was comprised in the fact that the Crown had originally granted the Charter. As we have seen, the disturbed condition of England during the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth conspired with the original insignificance of the Colony to allow it virtual independence ; and its political history is that of a conflict between the theocratic and the democratic spirits inherent in its original constitution. A new factor had now appeared, however. Theoretically, New England, in virtue of its discovery by the Cabots, was the private property of the sovereign. Onlythe voluntary act of the sovereign, in the Charter, gave the colonists any rights at all; their position resembled that of tenants on a private estate. And from the beginning the Charter had been contested by some gentlemen, who maintained that it was in violation 01 previous royal grants to them. Under Charles II. this attack was renewed, partly perhaps because New Eng- land was growing too prosperous to be let alone. During King Philip's War there came to Boston for the first time Edward Randolph, agent of the Lords of Trade, with a...

Cotton Mather the Puritan Priest
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