Virginia, Burgess, Charles discussed on Stuff You Missed in History Class
Iheartradio app, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Further break, we talked about the enslavement of native Americans and Africans Virginia from the earliest years of the colony up through the sixteen seventies. And now we need to rewind just a little bit to talk about how the colonial government developed because that was a big of frustration leading into bacon rebellion at the top of the show. We talked about how the Virginia company established the colony at Jamestown in sixteen seven in sixteen eighteen the company drafted a set of instructions for newly appointed governor, Sir, George yearly. These instructions were called the great charter, and they included the head right system that we talked about earlier the great charter also included instructions about the colonies governance, the company decided to establish an elected body of representatives. So that the colonists could have some say in the government while the colony state in the company's control. These representatives were known as Burgess, and they were elected to represent each settlement today. Gather. The Burgess is the governor's council and the governor formed a unicameral body that was the general assembly that has come up a couple of times in this episode, but in spite of ongoing reforms through these decades and all these instructions that were detailed in the great. Charter the colony still just was not thriving the Virginia company never managed to get out of debt. Even though it was not paying the vast majority of its labor by the sixteen twenty s critics were also raising serious questions about the company and how it was running things. So in sixteen twenty four after a yearlong investigation. The crown revoked to the company's charter and took direct control of the colony appointing a Royal governor and other officials this was a massive change for the colonists. Especially because for the first several years, the general assembly had, no, formal recognition. The colonists were frustrated and angry over the situations since they'd gone from being at least somewhat self governing with an elected assembly. To being under the control of a governor. Who was appointed? By the monarch, the crown did eventually recognize the assembly and then in sixteen forty three governor, sir. William Berkeley, split the Burgess as off into their own house of the government. And so this turned the colonies unicameral legislature into a bicameral one his goal in doing. This was part of a plan to try to create a stable central government for the colony but a side effect of splitting the Burgess into their own house. Was that the Burgess who had always been mostly made up of the colonies, gentry, they became increasingly focused on their own needs and the needs of other rich colonists. So the colonies less affluent people really felt like they didn't have a voice in the government anymore throughout all this time tobacco. Continued to be the foundation of Virginia's economy tobacco. Prices had started to drop around the sixteen twenty s as exports from North America, and the Caribbean flooded, the British market the Dutch also about a lot of tobacco from. Jinya and that revenue was cut off completely during the first Anglo Dutch war which started in sixteen fifty two then in sixteen sixty parliament passed the navigation acts which required Virginia's exports to be sent through English ports on English ships that once again, upended Virginia's tobacco trade with the Dutch Republic since the colony could no longer sell directly to the Dutch. Once the war was over they had resumed that trade. And then the navigation accidents that they could not do it anymore. And then of course, because it was a war or also all of the other wartime effects, including the colony being directly attacked also in sixteen sixty sir. William Berkeley was appointed the governor of Regina for a second time his separation of the Burge's into their own house and the government had happened during his first term that first term lasted from sixteen forty one to sixteen fifty two and it largely took place during the English civil war. Berkeley himself was a royalist. So when that's I've lost the war initially loss. His position as governor not long afterward. Charles the second was restored to the throne in sixteen sixty in Berkeley's, first term as governor had gone well enough that the king restored him to the position. But the second term did not go nearly as well in his first term, Berkeley, hidden, courage, Virginia, farmers and planters to diversify their crops. So the colonial economy wouldn't be so susceptible to everything from whether to wars Charles the second approved a formal plan to do this during Berkeley second term, but Berkeley's attempts to carry it out. Just didn't go well taxes were increased to fund the diversification effort, which meant that planters felt like they were being taxed in order to make a change that they didn't even wanna make in the first place. The diversification effort fizzled and tobacco remained as the primary export crop. So when the second Anglo Dutch war started in sixteen sixty five planters incomes. Once again, plummeted planters were also becoming frustrated because of some of the consequences of the. Head rights stem that we talked about earlier the land that was granted to people under that system was not the most fertile farmable land out in the Tidewater area of the colony it was farther inland, where it was a lot rockier the soil was not as rich some of it was on the other side of the fall line, which made it harder to transport goods out to the coast, and the more people moved into this territory, the more frustrated they were about this disparity between the people out on the Tidewater and people in the inner coastal plain governor Berkeley was also really fond of granting some of the best lands of people that he liked as rewards and that meant that that extra good land was not available to sell to anyone else. Those earlier issues with colonists feeling like they weren't represented in the government resurfaced in sixteen seventy when the assembly adopted legislation that restricted the right to vote only two people who owned taxable land this disenfranchised a lot of previously eligible voters. On top of that. There hadn't been new election for the assembly in eight years, so only the wealthiest and most elite people in the colony felt represented in the government since they were the ones connected to the Burge's who had been serving all that time as if that was not enough on top of all of this in sixteen seventy two Charles the second granted, all Virginia's revenues to the Lord's Arlington and Culpepper and this led the governor of Regina to raise taxes again. Both try to offset that loss of revenue and to pay for an appeal to try to get the grant reversed all of these things that we've talked about today led to the British colonies first, violent uprising among its colonists. And we're going to talk about that on our next show. I have a little bit of listener mail to close us out. And this is about our not that long ago episode on rough Olympic and the genocide convention it is from Nate. Nate says Hello, Tracy and Holly. I just wanted to add a note to your episode on. Raffaelle Lipkin and the genocide convention, you mentioned that Lumpkin studied law at LeBow Poland, which is now in Ukraine and called LA live while Lumpkin was working to define genocide as a crime the related, but distinct legal concept of crimes against humanity was being developed by Hirsch, louder pocked who had studied law at the same university. The parallels between the two continued at the Nuremberg trial where louder parked was an adviser to the British prosecutors while Lincoln was an adviser to the Americans both men lost relatives in the holocaust. And at Nuremberg that came face to face with a defendant and most directly responsible for these deaths Hans Frank the Nazi governor of Poland. I learned this and more in a fascinating book called east west street by Philip Assam's, which I highly recommend keep up the good work Nate, thank you Nate. I wanted to read the Email for two reasons. One to include that tidbit about ladder and the idea of crimes against humanity because that did come up in my research and was not. That we really got into in the episode as much one of Lincoln's sources of frustration was that it seemed like sometimes there was more focused on this idea of crimes against humanity. And he really felt like there needed to be a legal focus on the idea of genocide and on preventing and prosecuting genocide. And then I also wanted to clarify because I don't think I said that he has studied law in Poland. I I'm not sure what gave that impression. What I did say that was definitely confusing or what I did write that was definitely confusing. I don't remember which said it in the actual episode as that I've made it sound like the university of Heidelberg and lavar off which is now. Live was one place. Those are in fact, two different universities and Lincoln studied at both of those universities at different times. So if anybody got the impression that there used to be a university that was called the university of Heidelberg and live that it's two different places and live. Yes is in Ukraine now. So thank you for letting me share that if you would like to write to us about this or any other podcast. We were a history podcasts at how stuff works dot com. There were Oliver social media at missed in history. We are at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as missing history, and then you can come to our website, which is missing history dot com and find a searchable archive all the episodes should never done and the show notes for the upsets, the Holly, and I have worked on together. And you can subscribe to our show on apple podcast iheartradio app. It anywhere else to get your podcasts.