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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1737-1740
Volume 40, Preface 3   View pdf image (33K)
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BALTIMORE, April 1, 1921.
To the Maryland Historical Society:

We have the honor to submit the Fortieth Volume of the Archives of Mary-
land, containing the Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of the
Provinces, at the Sessions held from 1737 to 1740.

The text of the volume is taken from the Calvert Papers and from the manu-
script volumes of journals and laws in the Maryland Archives deposited with
the Society.

The period covered by this volume is one which tried Ogle's skill as Governor
and his action in regard to the proceedings of the Legislature furnishes a good
illustration of the truth of Osgood's words (American Colonies in the Seven-
teenth Century, III, 314): "The British colonial system was Roman and
feudal, that is provincial in character " and the " forces which were moulding
it after this model came necessarily and at once into conflict with the democratic
and separatist tendencies which were inherent in colonial life. The central
thread of our colonial history is to be found in the record of that conflict."

Ogle was a diplomatic man, whose friendliness to the Anglican Church is
praised by Anderson in his Colonial Churches (Vol. III, pp. 177-219) as much
as Lord Baltimore's unfriendliness is blamed. He steered the ship of state
skilfully through the reefs, but the early neglect of this period of Provincial
History is shown from the fact that Justin Winsor in treating of the Provincial
History completely overlooked him (Vol. V, 259 and ff.). In fact the whole
history of British America in the Eighteenth Century is being now rewritten in
true perspective, so as to give a correct vision of it and thus in Gwatkin's
words: " Not by increasing worship of the past, nor by ignorant contempt of
it, nor yet by partisan distortion of it, but by critical and sympathetic study,
we shall learn something of the grandeur of our own time, and of the mean-
ing of the mighty questions which lie before us and our children."

S. E. Dawson well wrote that " Religion and Law are the two organizing
forces of Society." During the years covered by this volume scarcely any
new statutes were passed, owing to legislative dissentions, yet the Province
in general appears to have been law-abiding. We have not much information


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1737-1740
Volume 40, Preface 3   View pdf image (33K)
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