US States/Virginia/Colonization Period

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Introductions[edit]

Hello, and welcome to U.S. states/Virginia/Colonization Period, in this page, you will learn about the Jamestown Colonization - the charters - and the colony government.

Jamestown Colonization[edit]

The Englishmen (the British) settled in a land they later named Jamestown in honor of the King - King James I. The Englishmen picked the area because -

  • They thought they had fresh drinking water
  • The water was high enough for ships to dock

Charters[edit]

Terms to Know

  • Charter - an official document from an organization granting certain rights and privileges.
The charters of the Virginia Company of London were granted by the King of England giving rights to establish settlements in North America[edit]
  • First Charter - Authorized the establishment of colonies

In 1606, the great King James I issued the First Charter authorizing a group of investors to form the Virginia Company of London and to settle English men and women in North America.

  • Second Charter - Allowed a representative form of government

In 1609, the Second Charter of the Virginia Company of London permitted for a representative form of government in North America.

  • Third Charter - Extended English rights to the colonists

In 1612, the Third Charter of the Virginia Company of London extended the same English rights to the English settlers living in Virginia. The Third Charter remained in force until the Virginia Company of London went bankrupt and Virginia became a royal colony.

System of Government[edit]

In 1619, the governor of the Virginia Colony called a meeting of the General Assembly. The General Assembly included two representatives elected by the settlers (called the burgesses) from each of the divisions of Virginia along with the governor's council and the governor. They met as one legislative body.

In 1643, the burgesses became a separate legislative body. It was named the House of Burgesses. They met separately from the governor's council as one of two legislative bodies of the General Assembly. The House of Burgesses was the first elected legislative (representative) body in the colony and in English America. This was an important step in beginning the foundation of American democracy.

Today it is called the Virginia General Assembly and is the oldest representative legislative body in the western hemisphere.