Unit 1: Constitutional Principles August 28, 2012. Outcomes: SWBAT define representative democracy and describe early examples of self-government in colonial US history. Business. Agenda Do Now Business Do Now Review Agree/Disagree Lecture: Government in colonial America
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Unit 1: Constitutional PrinciplesAugust 28, 2012
Outcomes: SWBAT define representative democracy and describe early examples of self-government in colonial US history.
Do Now: What does it mean to be “American”? What beliefs, actions or traditions do you associate with the term?
How perfect is the “more perfect union”?
Is America capable of living up to the ideals included in the founding documents?
Reading Activity: Use the secondary source reading provided to fill out the graphic organizer below, looking for each event’s EFFECT ON US GOVERNMENT.
The Mayflower Compact
In 1620, a group of 102 passengers were gathered on the Mayflower, a small ship which had just made the voyage from England to the east coast of America. Their ship had traveled far off course, taking them to Massachusetts; a place where they would be starting a brand new colony. The group was made up of a number of people who were seeking religious freedom. Others, however, had left England for economic reasons. They began to disagree about what the colony should look like when they arrived.
Fearing that a revolt would destroy the colony before it began, the leaders drew up and agreement known as the Mayflower Compact. The passengers agreed to live in a "civil body politic." They also agreed to obey "just and equal Laws," enacted by representatives of their choosing. This was the first written framework for self-government in what would eventually become the United States.
The Right to Self-Government
Over time, each colony elected a legislature. One of the first was Virginia's House of Burgesses, formed in 1620. Although the House of Burgesses reflected the colonists' belief in self-government, power was limited to certain people. Only white, male landowners could elect representatives. In many colonies, a person had to own a certain amount of property to vote.
Reading with a purpose: Our purpose today is to describe the Mayflower Compact and Virginia House of Burgesses, as well as to describe why they were so important to US History. As you read, underline any clues that will help you answer our purpose. Then, fill out the organizer.
Closing: Earlier we discussed the pros and cons of representative democracy. Using at least two points from your classwork, define representative democracy, give two examples of early representative democracies, and explain the reasons why Americans fought so hard to establish representative democracies in colonial America.