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Origins of American Government. Our Political Beginnings The Coming Independence Chapter 2. Basic Concepts of Government. Our first settlers brought with them the customs and laws from England

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Origins of American Government


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    1. Origins of American Government Our Political Beginnings The Coming Independence Chapter 2

    2. Basic Concepts of Government • Our first settlers brought with them the customs and laws from England • The first settlers organized their towns based on those common laws using a sheriff, coroner, justice of the peace, and grand juries.

    3. Basic Concepts of Government • Babylonia – Hammurabi’s Code • Greece & Rome – direct democracy/representative democracy • English Law • Native American Law

    4. Basic Concepts of Government • Land was divided into counties and townships. • They brought the idea of limited government • Because they were far from the king, they began a representative government in Jamestown

    5. Basic Concepts of Government • The new government was based on English law and tradition from the Magna Carta, Petition of Rights and the English Bill of Rights • Wealthy men still ruled these local governments

    6. Magna Carta • In 1215, English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, making the king share power with them • It included a trial by jury and due process before taking life, liberty or property.

    7. Limited Government • Absolute monarchies lost some of their power in England beginning in 1215. (Magna Carta) • The idea of limiting the power of government was brought with the early colonists.

    8. Petition of Right • Almost 400 years later, in 1628, Charles I signed the Petition of Right which gave rights to common people. • This document further eroded the power of the absolute monarchy • It challenged the idea of divine right saying the king had to obey the law.

    9. English Bill of Rights • After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, William and Mary agreed to the English Bill of Rights • This required the elected Parliament to share the power of government

    10. English Bill of Rights • It gave the right to a fair trial, freedom from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment and prohibited a standing army unless authorized by Parliament. • The absolute monarchy was dead in England

    11. Representative Government • Colonists also brought with them the idea of electing representatives to serve for them in government.

    12. Jamestown • The first permanent English colony was started as a joint-stock company, the Virginia Company. • The first inhabitants were employees

    13. Jamestown • Far from the King (3 months by ship), local decisions were made by management leading to self-rule.

    14. Massachusetts • The Pilgrims settled in New England to escape religious persecution

    15. Georgia • To relieve overcrowding in debtors prisons, Britain sent victims of the Poor Laws to Georgia • It was set up as a military colony to buffer Spanish Florida from the Carolinas

    16. Royal Colonies • Of the 13 colonies, 8 were under direct control of the Crown – NH, MA, NY, NJ, VA, NC, SC, GA • The king named a governor but the lower house was elected by the people

    17. Proprietary Colonies • Three were proprietary colonies: PA, MD, DE • Lord Baltimore – Delaware • William Penn – PA and MD • Major decisions were made by the king while day to day business was controlled by elected representatives Penn

    18. Charter Colonies • Connecticut and Rhode Island were charter colonies and largely self-governing • They had a bi-cameral, two houses, legislature

    19. The Coming of Independence Chapter 2 Section 2

    20. Britain’s Policies • The 13 colonies were separately controlled through the king, by means of the Privy Council or Board of Trade • Except for trade, the colonies were left to govern themselves under the watchful eye of the Crown

    21. Britain’s Policies • The Crown hired royal governors to oversee policy, but colonial taxes paid his salary. • Usually the governor went with the wishes of the town

    22. Britain’s Policies • The Crown provided for a national currency and made foreign policy for the colonies. • Parliament made few regulations regarding trade and taxes were low

    23. Colonial Unity • For the first years, there was no unity among the colonies. • Trade, transportation, communication, etc all went between Britain. • The first attempts at unity, the New England Confederation and one devised by William Penn, were unsuccessful.

    24. Albany Plan of Union • Ben Franklin wanted each colony to send delegates to an annual meeting • They would have the power to raise a military, regulate inter-colonial trade, and dealings with the Indians • It was rejected

    25. Albany Plan of Union

    26. Stamp Act 1765 • Parliament passed a new tax law for the colonists • It required that a tax be paid on almost all paper goods; newspapers, legal documents, etc • A stamp proved the tax was paid

    27. Stamp Act 1765 • The colonists petitioned the king, boycotted British goods and hung effigies of tax collectors • Parliament repealed the tax.

    28. More Taxes, More Protests • Colonial boycotts continued when Britain imposed other taxes • Their claim, “No taxation without representation.” Tar and feathering

    29. More Taxes, More Protests • On Dec. 16, 1773, patriots threw chests of tea into Boston Harbor • King George III imposed the Intolerable Acts • It was time for the colonies to join forces.

    30. First Continental Congress • Delegates from 12 colonies, (not GA) met in Philadelphia • They discussed the worsening situation with Britain and looked for a way to solve the conflict. • They planned to meet the following summer.

    31. More Taxes, More Protests • In April 1775, British soldiers headed for a colonial munitions stockpile west of Boston • The “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired and the American Revolution had begun

    32. Second Continental Congress • By the meeting of this Congress, we were at war with Britain. • All 13 colonies sent delegates, which devised America’s first government.

    33. Second Continental Congress • John Hancock was its president • George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief • They raised an army, borrowed funds, dealt with foreign nations, and created a money system

    34. Declaration of Independence • A committee of 5 was charged with writing a document explaining our grievances against King George III • Thomas Jefferson wrote the document which was approved on July 4, 1776

    35. Declaration of Independence • The Declaration of Independence lists the numerous acts that King George III did to America without any representative from the colonies in Parliament.

    36. Stop! • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrvpZxMfKaU

    37. United States of America • After 5 years of fighting, America was independent • States began writing their own state constitutions, each featuring popular sovereignty, something the patriots had fought for.

    38. United States of America • The state constitutions had many similarities • Governors had little power • Most authority was given to the legislature • Elected offices had short terms • Landed men had the right to vote

    39. United States of America • It was easy to see that America would not easily forget the reasons they fought for their freedom.

    40. Origins of Our American Government The Critical Period Chapter 2 Section 3

    41. Vocabulary • Articles of Confederation – first plan for America’s government following the Revolutionary War • Ratification – approval • Presiding officer – person leading a meeting

    42. Articles of Confederation • The first state and federal governments of America were reminders of what colonists had lived through under King George II • They based these documents more on what they did not want

    43. Articles of Confederation • The Articles of Confederation is a government which gave states exactly what they wanted • Strong state’s rights • Weak central government • Unanimous decisions to change the Articles

    44. Articles of Confederation • The Articles of Confederation was ratified by all 13 states by 1781 • The presiding officer had no decision making power • Congress could declare war but not raise troops • Congress could spend money but not raise revenue

    45. Articles of Confederation • The states promised to send money and troops to the federal government when it was needed • Nothing could force them to do it when the time came, however • The govt had ‘power’ but no ‘authority’

    46. Articles of Confederation • Congress borrowed heavily to pay for the war and those debts had not been repaid • Not a single state came close to repaying their share of the debt and Congress could not mandate it

    47. Articles of Confederation • Because 9 of the 13 states had to ratify any amendments, it was impossible to get them to agree so no amendments were done • States bickered among themselves and many acted like an independent country when dealing with foreign countries

    48. Critical Period, 1780’s • “We are one nation today and 13 tomorrow, Who will treat us on such terms?” G. Washington • States taxed one another’s goods and banned trade. • Debts went unpaid • Violence broke out

    49. Shays Rebellion • Daniel Shays led farmers in western Massachusetts in violent protests against losing their farms • There was no army to stop them

    50. Shay’s Rebellion • The farmers rampaged through Massachusetts but no one was able to stop them without an army or trained military.