Why was the House of Burgesses important?

The House of Burgesses constituted the oldest representative legislative body in North America.

The House of Burgesses had been meeting for well more than a century when the Constitutional Convention convened in the 1780s. There was a long track record of success. The House of Burgesses had demonstrated that an elected representative body could provide reasonable laws, leading to a stable and prosperous society, even under frontier conditions as had prevailed for most of Virginia Colony’s history. This helped give Convention delegates the assurance that a representative government could work “for the long haul” in the United States as a whole, as it expanded westward.

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