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The British Empire operated three different types of colonies during the height of their occupation of the United States. These were royal colonies; proprietor colonies and company colonies also known as a corporate colony or a charter colony (Fishkin 6).
Charter colonies were grown because of the need for free enterprise. They were established by individuals or groups of settlers who received charters from the King (Fishkin 12). They then created chartered companies to pool likeminded investors and shareholders for purposes of exploration, colonization and trade. Most chartered companies were formed in the 16th century by European investors (Fishkin 17). Charter colonies had more control and power compared to the other two types of colonies. Examples of charter colonies in North America were the Virginia Colony, the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In the 17th century, proprietary colonies were dominant because most colonies were governed by a council, a governor and the House of Representatives (Fishkin 35). In proprietary colonies, the British Crown granted powers to individuals or groups of individuals to self-govern and self-determine (Fishkin 36). The proprietors could make laws and appoint government officials as they deem appropriate. Proprietary colonies allowed the proprietors to determine the direction of development that they desired for their colonies. The Crown as the administrator did not interfere with the activities of the proprietors.
The British crown took over the control of their colonies in the 18th century (Fishkin 53). Colony governors had to seek the approval of the crown before making any decisions. They also have to lodge all complaints with the crown. New York was governed as a Royal Colony (Fishkin 64). The colony had a British Crown appointed governor and council that served and protected the interests of the crown.
Fishkin, Rebecca L. English Colonies in America. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books,
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