Dominion of New England

The Dominion of New England in America (1686–1689) was an administrative union of English colonies in the New England region of North America. Its political structure represented centralized control more akin to the model used by the Spanish monarchy through the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The dominion was unacceptable to most colonists, because they deeply resented being stripped of their traditional rights. Under Governor Sir Edmund Andros, the Dominion tried to make legal and structural changes, but most of these were undone, and the Dominion was overthrown as soon as word was received that King James had left the throne in England. One notable success was the introduction of the Church of England into Massachusetts, whose Puritan leaders had previously refused to allow it any sort of foothold.

The Dominion encompassed a very large area (from the Delaware River in the south to Penobscot Bay in the north), composed of present-day Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. It was too large for a single governor to manage. Governor Andros was highly unpopular, and was seen as a threat by most political factions. After news of the Glorious Revolution in England reached Boston in 1689, it was known that King James II—who had appointed Andros—had been overthrown, in large part because of the king's ever-closer ties to Roman Catholicism. The anti-Catholic Puritans launched a revolt against Andros, arresting him and his officers. Leisler's Rebellion in New York City deposed the dominion's lieutenant governor, Francis Nicholson, in what amounted to an ethnic war between English newcomers and Dutch old settlers. After these events, the colonies that had been assembled into the dominion reverted to their previous forms of governance, although some governed formally without a charter. New charters were eventually issued by the new joint rulers King William III and Queen Mary II.

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American History

Political History

The Colonial Period (1513-1775)

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