\t͡ʃˈɑːtəz], \tʃˈɑːtəz], \tʃ_ˈɑː_t_ə_z]\
Definitions of CHARTERS
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The kings of England made grants by letters patent to individuals, giving them land and jurisdiction in America. The name charter is commonly restricted to the grants made to companies or large bodies of men. Of these the chief were those of the Virginia Company in 1606, 1609 and 1612, of the Council for New England (1620), of the Massachusetts Bay Company (1629), of Providence Plantations (1644), of Connecticut (1662), of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (1663), of Massachusetts (1691), and of Georgia (1732). Of a similar sort were the charters which were given to the Dutch West India Company by the States General of the United Netherlands in 1621, and to the Swedish Company by Gustavus Adolphus in 1624. The attempt has been made to derive the constitutions or forms of government of our colonies from the forms of internal government prescribed, in these charters, for the colonizing companies. But it is much more probable that the colonial institutions are modeled on the governmental institutions of England itself. The theory that a charter constituted a contract between the granting government and the grantee was apparently first advanced by Jeremiah Dummer, in his "Defence of the Charters." See Dartmouth College case.
By John Franklin Jameson