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that that title has, by treaties or by grants, descended to us.
$ 7. In the settlement of a new country, there is a distinction in regard to the laws which become of force there. If the country be uninhabited, the laws of the nation to which the settlers belong, spring immediately into operation, so far as they are applicable to the situation and local circumstances of the settlers, who would otherwise be without laws to govern them. If the country be inhabited, and acquired by treaty, conquest, or purchase, the general rule is, that the laws already existing remain in force until altered or repealed, unless they be contrary to religion or morality.
$ 8. Although North America was inhabited the time it was colonized, the colonists disregarded the occupancy and claims of the Indian tribes, and considered themselves as settling an unoccupied country. We must, therefore, regard them as bringing with them to the new world the laws of England, so far as they were applicable to their situation, and it was so resolved by the Continental Congress in the Declaration of Rights.
$9. In fact, the charters under which the colonies were settled (except that of Pennsylvania) expressly declared that all subjects of the king, and their children, inhabiting therein, should be deemed natural-born subjects, and should enjoy all the privileges and immunities thereof.
The colonies were not affected by acts of Parlement passed after the date of their settlement, unless they were expressly named therein.
$10. The names of the thirteen original colonies wer Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Georgia. These colonies have, with reference to their form of government, been divided into three classes, as follows:
(1.) Provincial or Royal Governments.
§ 11. Under the Provincial governments, a governor was appointed by the king, as his deputy, to rule according to his instructions. The king also appointed a council to assist the governor and aid in making laws. The governor established courts and raised military forces. He had power to call together legislative assemblies of freeholders and others, in which the council formed an upper house, he himself exercising a negative upon their proceedings, as well as the right to adjourn them for a time, or to dissolve them. These assemblies made local laws, which had to be submitted to the king for his approval or disapproval.
New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, were provincial colonies.
$ 12. In the Proprietary governments, the king granted his rights and privileges to certain individuals, who became proprietaries of the colony, and held it as if it were a feudal principality. These proprietaries appointed the governor, directed the calling together of the legislative assemblies, and exercised all those acts of authority which in the provincial governments were exercised by the king.
At the time of the Revolution there were but three colonies of this description: Maryland, of which Lord Baltimore was proprietary, and Pennsylvania and Delaware, of which William Penn was proprietary. The Carolinas and New Jersey, which had been proprietary governments, became Royal governments before the Revolution. · § 13. In the Charter governments, the powers and rights were vested by a charter from the king in the colonists generally, and were placed upon a more free and democratic foundation. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, the governor, council, and the assembly, were chosen every year by the freemen of the colony. But by the charter granted by William and Mary, in 1691, to the colony of Massachusetts, the governor was appointed by the king, the council chosen annually by the general assembly, and the house of representatives chosen by the people, though in other respects the charter was quite liberal in its provisions.
At the Revolution, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut were the only charter governments existing.
$ 14. Notwithstanding these diversities in the form of their government, the situation and circumstances of the colonists were similar in several very important particulars. They were entitled to the rights and liberties of English subjects, and to the advantages of the laws of England. They were mostly a sober, industrious, and persevering people. They established provincial legislatures to regulate their local affairs. They did not hold their lands by any burdensome feudal tenures. The governments were administered upon popular principles, and generally marked by a liberal policy.
§ 15. Many of the settlers in the colonies emigrated from England at a time of great religious and political excitement, and were filled with the spirit of liberty, of free inquiry, and of opposition to the prerogatives of the crown and to an established church, which such excitement had produced. Schools and colleges were founded, and religion, education, and printing encouraged. The great distance of the colonies from the mother-country weakened her power over them, so that a love of freedom was gradually enabled to grow up almost unperceived by the English government.
In Pennsylvania soon after its settlement, in Maryland, and in New England, (except Rhode Island,) the English law of primogeniture (that is, the right of the eldest son and his descendants to succeed to the inheritance of the ancestor) was abolished, and the estates of a decedent were divided among all his descendants, which tended to equalize property, increase the number of landholders, and encourage habits of industry.
$ 16. The colonies, nevertheless, had no political connection with each other. They had no right to form treaties or alliances among themselves, or enter into any connection with foreign powers. The law of nations did not recognise them as sovereign states, but only as dependencies on the crown of England. They could not make treaties, declare war, or send or receive ambassadors. Each colonist, however, had the full rights of a British subject in every other colony.
THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
$ 17. ALTHOUGH the colonies were politically distinct, yet, in consequence of the similarity of their laws, religion, institutions, interests, and situation generally, they were frequently led to unite together for the purpose of advancing their common welfare. The New England colonies often joined to defend themselves against the hostilities of the Indian tribes.
$ 18. For instance, in 1643, the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Plymouth, and New Haven, for the purpose of protection against the Indians and Dutch, formed an alliance by the name of the United Colonies of New England.
$ 19. So also in 1754, upon the suggestion of a branch of the British government, delegates from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, assembled to deliberate upon the best means of defending themselves in case of a war with France, which was then likely to occur.
$ 20. When England began to oppress the colonies, they were thus naturally led again to form a union for their common protection. In 1765, upon the recommendation of Massachusetts, a congress of delegates from nine colonies assembled at New York, and published a bill of rights, in which they asserted that the sole power of taxation resided in the colonies.
$21. The first Continental Congress, composed of dele