After several years the colonists could no longer be restrained from settling on the more productive land to the north, and settlements such as Duxbury and Scituate were founded. With the growth of additional towns, a representative system was introduced in 1638, using the town as a unit of government and establishing the General Court, along with the governor and his council, as the lawmaking body. By the time the colony joined the New England Confederation in 1643, 10 towns had been established.
Plymouth suffered severely in King Philip's War (1675–76), and but for aid from the confederation might have been destroyed. The colony became part of the Dominion of New England under the governorship of Sir Edmund Andros. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 in England, the territory that had been under Andros's authority was reorganized, and Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Maine were joined (1691) in the royal colony of Massachusetts.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.