Charter colony

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Charter colony is one of the three classes of colonial government established in British colonies in North America, the other classes being proprietary colony and royal colony. The colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Bay were charter colonies. In a charter colony, the King granted a charter to the colonial government establishing the rules under which the colony was to be governed. The charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut granted the colonists significantly more political liberty than other colonies. Rhode Island and Connecticut continued to use their colonial charters as their State constitutions after the American Revolution.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's permanent settlement by European colonists began in 1636 when a group of refugees from the Massachusetts Bay Colony left the colony to seek freedom of worship. Roger Williams, the unofficial head of the group of refugees, acquired land from Native Americans and established the town of Providence. Other early towns settled in the Rhode Island area were Portsmouth (1638), Newport (1639), and Warwick (1642). The lands on which these original four towns were settled were held only through Indian deeds, so naturally they caught the attention of nearby colonies. In order to protect the small haven that the town had established, Roger Williams acquired a parliamentary patent from England between the years 1643 and 1644. In the early 1660s,......
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