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describe society and politics in the 13 English colonies during the mid-1700s
British settlers did not come to the American colonies with the intention of creating a democratic system, [ yet by doing without a land-owning aristocracy they created a broad electorate and a pattern of free and frequent elections that put a premium on voter participation. The colonies offered a much broader franchise than England or indeed any other country. White men with enough property
could vote for members of the lower house of the legislature, and in Connecticut and Rhode Island they could even vote for governor. The actual rate of voting ranged from 20% to 40% of all adult white males. The rates were higher in Pennsylvania, New York, where long-standing factions, based on ethnic and religious groups, mobilize supporters at a higher rate. New York and Rhode Island developed long-lasting two-faction systems that held together for years at the colony level, but did not reach into local affairs. The factions were based on the personalities of a few leaders and arrays of family connection, and had little basis in policy or ideology. Elsewhere the political scene was in a constant whirl, and based on personality rather than long-lived factions or serious disputes on issues ]
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