Sunday, October 21, 2012

Accounts of Early Settlers - New England

When searching, I came across the article between all of the newly United Colonies plantations within New England written on the 19th May 1643. I thought this particular article was very interesting to look at, as it not only includes one belief of one colony, but an agreement by all the plantations within the colonies and therefore the beginning of an united country and people. Interestingly, rather than joining together due to the idea of "one nation" they article seems to suggest that they are in need of union due to the sudden and increased threat demonstrated by the Native Americans. The below extract demonstrates that the plantations within the colonies were more than willingly to unite and help each other.

"The said United Colonies for themselves and their posterities do jointly and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity for offence and defence, mutual advice and succor upon all just occasions both for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel and for their own mutual safety and welfare."

 Not only does this article show a union, but perhaps more importantly it highlights the beginning of a democratic society within the New England area, as point three of the article begins to set out areas of settlements. The establishments of states potentially; furthermore the establishment of jurisdictions and new governments within those referenced areas. It below extract sets out areas of jurisdiction and what the powers the plantations will have. It also sets out rulings for future settlements that may occur and says that if they are established within said regions they will fall under the jurisdiction of the set regions.

"It is further agreed that the Plantations which at present are or hereafter shall be settled within the limits of the Massachusetts shall be forever under the Massachusetts and shall have peculiar jurisdiction among themselves in all cases as an entire body, and that Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven shall each of them have like peculiar jurisdiction and government within their limits; and in reference to the Plantations which already are settled, or shall hereafter be erected, or shall settle within their limits respectively; provided no other Jurisdiction shall hereafter be taken in as a distinct head or member of this Confederation, nor shall any other Plantation or Jurisdiction in present being, and not already in combination or under the jurisdiction of any of these Confederates, be received by any of them; nor shall any two of the Confederates join in one Jurisdiction without consent of the rest, which consent to be interpreted as is expressed in the sixth article ensuing." 

I think this article is hugely important as it shows a union between plantations; from single established colonies to the union of many and the setting up of a democratic system in which future colonies and plantations can follow. It was the creation of the New England region and a union of the people; despite the union primarily being for protection against the Native Americans.

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