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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Rights as Englishmen

"Rights as Englishmen" was a phrase used frequently on the eve of the American Revolution by people in North Carolina and other colonies who understood and wanted to assert their position under the English Crown. The phrase referred to the rights and privileges granted specifically to colonists in Carolina by the 1663 charter from King Charles II. These basic rights were recognized to be the same as those enjoyed in England by subjects of the Crown. In the colonists' minds, their rights were being violated in several dire ways, particularly through "taxation without representation." Other rights were also considered essential, among them freedom of worship and the right to share in the fish and mineral bounty of the New World.


Hugh T. Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: The History of a Southern State (1963).

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