House of Burgesses


The House of Burgesses (1619-1776 CE) was the first English representative government in North America, established in July 1619 CE, for the purpose of passing laws and maintaining order in the Jamestown Colony of Virginia and the other settlements that had grown up around it.

More about: House of Burgesses


  • 1619
    House of Burgesses is convened; first English representational government in the Americas.
  • 1619 - 1776
    Duration of the House of Burgesses, first English representational government in North America.
  • 1642
    Legislative assembly separated into House of Burgesses and Council of State.
  • 31 May 1765
    The Virginia House of Burgesses passes the Virginia Resolves, asserting the colonists' rights as Englishmen and denying Parliament's authority to tax them.
  • 1776
    House of Burgesses becomes General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia; declares independence from Britain.