By the s - when all of the New England colonies were under control of the Crown - each colony still retained much control through two vehicles: Central governments, which were representative and responsive to the needs of the majority, and consisted of a governor and bicameral legislature. The Middle Colonies practiced a great deal of religious tolerance, accepting the beliefs of Quakers, Shakers, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc.
New England colonies were ruled by religious leaders through small town meetings. Governor Sir William Berkeley delivers a defiant speech against the Commonwealth government of England and its trade policies. Inthe colony began as a trading corporation, but bythe company had evolved into a provincial government.
This decision is indicative of a growing recognition that Jamestown must be more than just a commercial settlement and that in order to have a prosperous colony, it must be populated with families, women and children - and not just eager adventurers in constant need of supplies from home. When Britain objected to a revised Virginia law code in and upheld the governor's right to collect a small pistole fee on land grants a few years later, members of the House of Burgesses felt their right to govern their own internal affairs was being trampled.
Awareness of this contradiction forced white Americans to look at slavery in a new light. Under this new government, called the Commonwealth, Parliament acted as both executive and legislative branch.