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Important Documents . Magna Carta. 1215 The English noblemen forced King John to approve it. Limited the power of the King and protected the rights of noblemen and freemen. This document served as a basis for provisions in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Which include:

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magna carta
Magna Carta
  • 1215
  • The English noblemen forced King John to approve it.
  • Limited the power of the King and protected the rights of noblemen and freemen.
  • This document served as a basis for provisions in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Which include:
    • Trial by Jury
    • Approval of taxes by an elected group
    • The right to due process of law (prevents unfair imprisonment and seizure of property)
english bill of rights
English Bill of Rights
  • 1689
  • Established by William and Mary
  • Said that government should be based on laws not the ruler’s decrees. (1 of 2)
english bill of rights cont
English Bill of Rights Cont.
  • Similarities between English Bill of Rights and US Constitution:
    • Congress must approve taxes
    • Congress must meet regularly
    • Free elections
    • No excessive fines or cruel punishment
    • Freedom of speech is guaranteed
mayflower compact
Mayflower Compact
  • Written November 1620 by the Pilgrims that came to America escaping religious persecution.
  • The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth signed this document.
  • Set up fair and equal laws.
declaration of independence
Declaration of Independence
  • 1776
  • American colonies declare independence from Britain.
  • Based on 2 basic principles:
    • Governments gain their power from the consent of the governed. (popular sovereignty)
    • All men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
articles of confederation
Articles of Confederation
  • America’s first attempt at government.
  • It was replaced because it did not have the ability to regulate trade, levy taxes, raise an army, or regulate currency.
federalist papers
Federalist Papers
  • 1787-1788
  • A series of essays arguing in favor of ratifying the US Constitution.
  • Argued that checks and balances would allow for a strong central government but still protect states’ rights.
  • Helped the Constitution get ratified and are still used to help interpret ittoday.
united states constitution
United States Constitution
  • America’s Second attempt at government.
    • Ratified in 1787
  • It is a combination of the Virginia and New Jersey Plan:
    • Virginia: Representation based on population (House of representatives)
    • New Jersey: Equal Representation for all states. (Senate)
  • Includes the Bill of Rights:
    • First 10 amendments
    • These cannot be changed.
    • Essential for the constitution to be ratified.
  • Usually referred to as a “living document” because of its ability to change and grow as time passes.
emancipation proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
  • Document issued by Abraham Lincoln.
  • Stated that all slaves living in states in armed rebellion against the union are free.
  • Did NOT abolish slavery.
  • Most slaves did not even know about the proclamation until years after it had been issued.
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