Why did the English parliament find it necessary to pass the Plantation Act of 1740?
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The Plantation Act was enacted to systematize naturalization procedures in all localities as well as to encourage immigration to the American colonies.The act provided a workable naturalization procedure by empowering colonial courts to administer the oath of allegiance to aliens.The secretaries of Colonies were required, under penalty, to send annual lists of such persons to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. The act endowed colonial courts with the responsibility of deciding when alien petitioners had fulfilled the statutory requirements for imperial citizenship. In proprietary colonies, the judges were appointed by colonial governors and thus represented the royal or proprietary interest. However, by delegating authority to colonial officials, Parliament subjected naturalization to the pressure of the same local interest groups that increasingly defied the governor's efforts to implement royal and proprietary instructions on other issues. Despite the penalties imposed under the act, only six Secretaries of the thirteen American Colonies and one in the West Indies submitted the mandated lists.