The styles of government of the European colonies varied widely from one another, leading to the creation of a medley of different styles of town halls. The Dutch and English colonies, both founded by citizens of nations with long histories of government participation, often created meeting halls where citizens could gather and discuss current issues. By 1619, English colonists had organized the first elected white legislature in the New World. The French colonies too were ruled by council, although with significantly more oversight from the representatives of power of the mother land. The strong monarchy of Spain led her colonies towards a more autocratic style of rule. As a result, the government offices of New Spain were often the quarters of the colony's crown-appointed governors.