Master of Arts (MA)
Colonial America, Government, House of Burgesses, Virginia, William Berkeley
History | Legal | Political History | United States History
Kreimeyer, Nathanael, "The Virginia House of Burgesses' Struggle for Power from 1619-1689" (2013). Masters Theses. 295.
After experiencing the freedom to choose representatives for the House of Burgesses in 1619, Virginian freemen and freeholders would resist living under a political system that did not allow them to participate in choosing their leaders. In 1619, the Virginia Company set up a new kind of governmental legislature in Virginia where every freeman and freeholder held the right to vote for their representative. Over time, the representatives came to see their legislature as equal with the British Parliament and believed it held the right to make its own laws and choose its own leaders. By Bacon's Rebellion in 1675-1676, Virginians were willing to fight, whether by legislative action or war, to jealously protect this power from anyone wanting to take it away.