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A Reforming PeoplePuritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England$
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David D. Hall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807873113

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837115_hall

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“Arbitrary” or “Democratical”?

“Arbitrary” or “Democratical”?

The Making of Colony Governments

(p.22) Chapter One “Arbitrary” or “Democratical”?
A Reforming People

David D. Hall

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses how a group of officers from the Massachusetts Bay Company played a key role in initiating democratic processes in Massachusetts as administrators of the colony. They made efforts at controlling increasing prices of supplies and manual labor. They implemented rules to regulate and restrict speech, sex, and alcohol abuse among local Indian tribes. They also emphasized the validation of commercial contracts and the distribution of property of people who died. The chapter also reveals how the officers divided the colony into parts for better governance. These and many other colonial officials made concerted efforts to initiate democratic processes and to establish better governance in a number of such colonies despite facing considerable challenges.

Keywords:   Massachusetts Bay Company, colony, administrator, Indian Tribes, commercial contract

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