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Oliver Cromwell and the Virginia


Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell

In 1624 the company was dissolved and Virginia was made a royal colony, ruled by a governor appointed by the king of England. At that time Virginia claimed territory from present-day Pennsylvania to Florida and west to the Pacific Ocean. Very little of that claimed area was actually controlled or even explored. In 1629 the southern part was granted to another proprietor and named Carolana; in 1665 the grant was expanded to include—as Carolina—all the land south of Currituck Inlet. In 1632 Lord Baltimore received the area north of the Potomac River as a proprietorship. The Virginians were incensed by the grant to Lord Baltimore and, for this and other provocations, rose against their tyrannical governor, Sir John Harvey. He was arrested and deported to England, but was reinstated in 1637.

Opechancanough and the Powhatan made another synchronized assault in 1644 and killed about 500 settlers. However, the English ultimately captured Opechancanough and brought him to Jamestown, where a vengeful soldier killed him with a shot in the back. His successor sued for peace and agreed to withdraw above the James and York rivers. As the English settlements grew, the Native Americans moved westward. Those who remained were put on reservations.

Virginia remained loyal to the king during the civil war in England, which began in 1642, and gave asylum to fugitive supporters of the monarchy, or Cavaliers, hundreds of whom settled in the colony.

Virginia refused to recognize the new English Commonwealth government of Oliver Cromwell until coerced by an armed English fleet in 1652. When the Commonwealth collapsed in 1660 and King Charles II took the throne, he is said to have referred to Virginia as the Old Dominion in gratitude for its loyalty. That became Virginia’s nickname. "Virginia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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