Sir Edmund Andros was named Governor General of New England on 29 June 1674. The territory embraced by "New England" included all the land lying between the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers and between the Kennebec and Croix Rivers. As such, the region that Andros was named governor of included most of the region north of the colony of Pennsylvania and the Jerseys.
At the time that Andros came into power as the governor of the New England territories, England was caught up in her third war with the Netherlands (see Third Anglo-Dutch War) and his appointed came with the surrender of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to the English, as part of the general terms of the treaty in 1674. Shortly thereafter, the colonies became engulfed in the Indian wars (see King Philip's War) which lasted for three years, drawing to a close on 12 April 1678.
During Andros' first few years as governor of New England, a great deal of time was spent questioning, reassessing and consolidating boundaries between the various colonies. Because of the fact that the lands of the New World had not been efficiently surveyed and mapped, the boundaries, as defined in the original charters for the various colonies, tended to overlap. The squabbling and bickering over the boundaries continued into the mid-1680s. In May 1686 King James II named Sir Edmund Andros as the Governor General of the Dominion Of New England. By his act, the King defined the Dominion as all the colonies north of Pennsylvania and the Jerseys (with the exception of Connecticut and Rhode Island). The act deprived the various colonies of any independent status and of any claims to earlier charters. It likewise dissolved all of the colonial legislatures and placed total power in the hands of the Governor General.
On 30 December 1686, the colony of Rhode Island was annexed into the Dominion of New England. A year later, on 01 November 1687, Andros would dissolve the assembly of Connecticut and announce that the colony was then part of the Dominion of New England, effectively making him the governor of all the colonies north of Pennsylvania.
In March 1688, through the urging of Andros, King James revoked the charters for the colonies of East Jersey and West Jersey. The two colonies became part of the Dominion of New England.
In an act that greatly antagonized the colonists, King James declared, on 29 May 1686, that the 1683 Charter of Liberties (which called for the consent of the governed in matters of taxes) to be invalid. On the 23rd of August 1687 an Ipswich, Massachusetts clergyman, John Wise, led a protest against taxes imposed by Andros. Soon thereafter the town of Topsfield staged a similar protest.
Andros angered the religious sensibilities of the people of Boston when, in December of 1686, he demanded that the Puritans share their Old South Meeting house with the Anglican congregation. Then, on 25 March 1687, Andros demanded that the Old South Meeting house was to be used solely by the Anglican congregation.
Governor Andros, mindful of the hatred toward him that was fermenting in the people of New England, declared that there could be no more than one town meeting per year in each town.
On 24 March 1688, Andros issued an order which stated that the New England militia was then and there under his direct control.
But Edmund Andros' reign was soon to come to an end. On 13 February 1689 William and Mary were proclaimed king and queen by the English Parliament. As the deposed James fled to exile in France, the inhabitants of the American colonies saw the opportunity to rid themselves of the heavy yoke that Governor Andros had placed around their necks. Andros had been in Pemaquid, Maine on 10 January 1689 when he received news of the arrival of William and Mary on English soil. At the time, he was leading a troop of the militia against the Indians there. Upon hearing of the emminent change in the monarchy, the militia mutinied. Andros returned to Boston where he felt he still retained a measure of power and control. But the people of the city established a 'Council for the Safety and the Conservation of the Peace' on 20 April 1689 and demanded Andros' arrest. Andros barricaded himself in the fort of Boston, but surrendered when he realized a fight would be futile. Taken into custody with Andros were royal agents, Joseph Dudley and Edward Randolph.
The various colonies would, over the next few months, re-establish their assemblies, many according to their original charters.