Colonial Government


There were three main types of government in Colonial America. They were Charter, Proprietary and Royal colonies.

Charter Colonies

    Company of investors granted the right to set up a colony by the English King. A third of the profits from trade and business  from the colony were sent back to England to the King.  Most Charter Colonies lost their charter or were taken over by the English King and became Royal Colonies. Examples of Charter Colonies are: Virginia Colony, Plymouth Colony, and Massachusetts Bay Colony. Virginia Colony lost it charter in 1624. Plymouth Colony lost its charter in 1635.

Proprietary Colonies


    Main type of colonies during the early 1600s. Individuals with a royal charter to set up a colony. Government was set up with a governor,coucil, and house of representatives. Most similar to the government we have today. By 1775 only Pennsylvania and Maryland were still Proprietary Colonies all the rest of the thirteen colonies were Royal Colonies.

Royal Colonies (Crown Colonies)


    Controlled by a governor appointed by the English king. The governor had a council to help him make laws. Governors ruled on behalf of the English King and could make laws. No laws could be passed without the seal of the king and only the Governor had the key to the box that held the seal.Judges were appointed usually for life by the English King. By the 1700s Royal Colonies were the most common form of Government in Colonial America.

Types of Colonial Government