‘A time of soe greate uncertaintie’
The colonies during the interregnum, 1642-1660
in Revolution and empire
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Interregnum England rarely enjoyed peace both at home and in Europe, and the coincidence between expanded colonial production and wartime disruptions of English shipping often made a Dutch vessel a very welcome sight. In Virginia and Massachusetts, legislators extended and gave fuller definition to county and town governments, and both colonies achieved major law codifications during the 1640s. Along with most colonies, Massachusetts also made it clear that trade was too vital a consideration to be made hostage to politics; the Bay would be loyal to its customers whether royalist or parliamentarian. The New England settlements enjoyed some insulation from the problems besetting other colonies during the civil war period. The region's failure to produce a cash crop made it less important to contesting Englishmen and tended to sustain the colonies' social and economic homogeneity. In comparison to most New England settlements, the plantation colonies enjoyed few advantages in 1649.

Revolution and empire

English Politics and the American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

Editor: Robert M. Bliss

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