This book traces the earliest forms of representative government which were found in Maryland.
The earliest forms of representative government were to be found in Maryland from its founding in 1632. In this book, David W. Jordan traces the establishment of the legislative assembly, the development of that central institution through the seventeenth century, and changing opinions about its proper place in the governance of Maryland. Considerable discord initially existed in Maryland and other colonies over the appropriate powers and organization of any assembly of freemen. The colonial proprietors - the Calverts -never envisaged as active a body as many colonists desired, nor one so independent of proprietary dominance. Specific issues of contention varied, but throughout the century debates erupted over the role of the freemen and their representatives within the legislature. Ultimately, the resumption of proprietary authority in 1715 brought an important acknowledgment of substantial gains in representative government that became the foundation of the American political system.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 'For the good and happy government' of Maryland; Part I: 'In the Infancy of This Plantation': 1632–1660: 1. 'A country … newly planted'; 2. 'Divers occurrences and difficulties'; Part II. 'Lord Baltimore's Politick Maximes': 1660–1689: 3. 'For the most part good ordinary householders'; 4. 'To liken us to a conquered people'; Part III. 'Wee Your Majesties Most Humble and Loyall Subjects': 1689–1715: 5. 'By the name of the country borne'; 6. 'We more immediately represent the people'; Epilogue: 'Our present happy protestant constitution'; Appendixes; A note on the sources; Index.
The earliest forms of representative government were to be found in Maryland from its founding in 1632. David W. Jordan traces the establishment of the legislative assembly, its development through the seventeenth century, and changing opinions about its proper place in the governance of Maryland.