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Seal of the dominion

The Dominion of New England in America (1686–89) was a short-lived administrative union of English colonies in the New England region of North America.

King James II of England decreed the creation of the Dominion as a measure to enforce the Navigation Acts and to coordinate the mutual defense of colonies against the French and hostile Native Americans. The Dominion initially comprised the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the Province of New Hampshire, the Province of Maine, and the Narraganset Country or King's Province. The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the Connecticut Colony were added to the Dominion on September 9, 1686. On May 7, 1688, the Province of New York, the Province of East Jersey, and the Province of West Jersey were added to the Dominion. The capital was located in Boston but, due to its size, New York and the Jerseys were run by the lieutenant governor from New York City.

Although the New England colonists had previously sought a loose voluntary association in the form of the New England Confederation, the imposition of a centralized authority from England was highly unpopular. The Dominion Governor in Chief Edmund Andros began promoting the Church of England, banning town meetings, and challenging land titles. Andros's actions, along with the behavior of English soldiers garrisoned at Boston, angered many colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and elsewhere in British North America.

When word of the overthrow of James II by William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 reached Boston, the colonists rose up in rebellion and arrested Andros on May 18, 1689. The Dominion immediately collapsed. One month later, Lieutenant Governor Francis Nicholson was deposed in New York City during Leisler's Rebellion.

The word dominion would later be used to describe the 1867 Dominion of Canada, and other self-governing British colonies (although no precedent from the Dominion of New England is cited in these cases).

Governors in Chief of the Dominion of New England in America

This is a list of the Governors in Chief of the Dominion of New England in America from 1686 to 1689:

Governor in Chief Date
Joseph Dudley 1686
Sir Edmund Andros 1686–1689

When the Dominion disintegrated in 1689, Simon Bradstreet served as Governor of Massachusetts Bay until William Phips arrived as Royal Governor in 1692.

References

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