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American Government. C H A P T E R 2- Supplemental Origins of American Government. Social Contract. The US Government was founded on the Social Contract theory. We all have “natural rights”. The state arose out of the voluntary act of free people.

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American Government

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American government

American Government

C H A P T E R 2- Supplemental

Origins of American Government

Social contract

Social Contract

The US Government was founded on the Social Contract theory.

  • We all have “natural rights”.

  • The state arose out of the voluntary act of free people.

  • The state exists only to serve the will of the people.

  • The people are the sole source of political power.

  • John Locke (1632-1704) is its best known philosopher.

American independence

American Independence

  • On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Historical context

Historical Context

Thomas Jefferson - Author

  • Born on April 13, 1743 in Virginia to a wealthy family.

  • He was very well educated. Attended The College of William & Mary.

  • Opposed slavery, but he owned many slaves.

  • Served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

  • He was an excellent writer but not good public speaker

Main idea

Main Idea

Key Points of the Declaration of Independence

  • All men are created equal.

  • Men are given by their Creator certain unalienable rights.

  • Governments derive their authority from the consent of the people.

  • The colonies tried repeatedly to compromise with King George, but he has been a tyrant.

  • When a government abuses it’s power, the people have the right to overthrow it.



John locke thomas jefferson

John Locke & Thomas Jefferson

John locke

John Locke

  • “whenever the Legislators(law makers)endeavor (try) to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary (unfair) Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon(immediately)absolved (freed) from any farther Obedience”

  • “when the Government is dissolved(broken up) , the People are at liberty(permitted) to provide for themselves, by erecting(creating) a new Legislative, differing from the other, by the change of Persons, or Form, or both as they shall find it most for their safety and good.”

Declaration of independence

Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed(given) by their Creator with certain unalienable(basic) Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit(search) of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted(set up) among Men, deriving(receiving) their just powers from the consent(agreement) of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter(change) or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation(base) on such principles(beliefs) and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

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