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A Nation of Immigrants??. YES! every single person who lives here is a descendant of an ancestor who came from another country * The US is a melting pot – different races, cultures, and religions all rolled into one. .

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A nation of immigrants

A Nation of Immigrants??

YES! every single person who lives here is a descendant of an ancestor who came from another country

* The US is a melting pot – different races, cultures, and religions all rolled into one.

  • First “Immigrants” – Spain 1500s – looking for gold – many go to S. America

  • 1600s – France and England to N. America – France into Canada; British form 13 colonies

  • 1600’s-1700’s – Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden join 2 million other immigrants in America

Our english heritage

Our English Heritage

American political traditions can be traced by to the Enlightenment (Reason and Science) movement taking place in England in the 1600’s.

England ruled by a Monarch (King or Queen) – give ownership and control of lands in exchange for loyalty, tax payments, and military support.

Magna carta 1215


Protected the privileges and authority of the nobles

Landowners have equal protection under the law and right to trial by jury

Limited the power of the monarch by guaranteeing that no one would be above the law


Glorious revolution

Glorious Revolution

Parliament created under King John of England

Parliament is a law making legislature made up of common people

* Glorious Revolution – Parliament removes James II and invites his daughter Mary and her husband William to rule (peaceful transfer of power)

* Shows Parliament became more powerful than monarch

Other english influences

Other English Influences:

English Bill of Rights – free elections, fair trial, elimination of cruel and unusual punishments, restricted monarch’s power

Common Law – system of law based on precedent and customs (based on court systems)

John Locke – philosopher; said people had ‘Natural Rights’ – life, liberty, and property (2nd Treatise of Government)

Social Contract of the people

Other english influences1

Other English Influences

Jean-Jacques Rousseau –

Social Contract – government protects the peoples rights and the people will obey the government (as influenced by John Locke)

Baron De Montesquieu

Separation of Powers – divide gov’t into different parts to keep it balanced and avoid one part becoming to strong

Self government

  • Jamestown (Virginia)– first English settlement in America; established as a Joint-Stock Company. Colony received a charter from the King and the Virginia Company.

  • 1619 – House of Burgesses created – first sign of self-government in America

  • 1620 – Mayflower Compact – written plan of government signed by 41 men aboard the Mayflower as Pilgrims reached Plymouth (Mass.)

Opening activity 9 13 10
Opening Activity 9-13-10

  • Based on what you have read in Chapter 2, explain in 1-2 Paragraphs how religion had an impact on colonial education, family life, and government in the early 1700’s.

Jamestown aka virginia
Jamestown (aka Virginia)

  • 1607

  • Colonists faced a severe struggle trying to grow crops, withstanding diseases, and Indian attacks

  • 1619, the people of Jamestown (several hundred) chose 2 representatives (burgesses) to meet royal governor

  • 22 members made up House of Burgesses – not very successful, but first legislature in America

Mayflower compact plymouth
Mayflower Compact (Plymouth)

  • The Mayflower Compact (contract) said:

  • 1. The government would make just and equal laws.

  • 2. The signers pledged to obey these laws.

  • 3. A direct democracy would exist with each adult male allowed to vote, and the majority would rule.

  • **Demonstrated by town meetings. It also established the idea of majority rule.

13 british colonies
13 British Colonies

  • By 1733 Colonies (eventually states) were established

  • Similarities among these 13 colonies:

  • Each colony had a governor (some were appointed by the King, some were elected by the colonists)

  • Each colony had a legislature, most with a two-house system like the Parliament. The governor usually appointed members of the upper house, and the colonists usually elected members of the lower house.


  • Practices in the Colonies:

  • Indentured Servitude – poor people come to colonies, sign 7 year labor contract in exchange for passage to America (many died before end of contract)

Indentured Servitude led to the practice of Slavery. Slavery was cheaper, did not get the Rights of Englishmen – were property. Became backbone of the Southern Economy.

5 traditions of english heritage still in the u s today

5 traditions of English heritage still in the U.S. today:

The ruler is not above the law.

People should have a voice in their government.

Citizens have basic rights that are protected by law

A consistent system of common law

A legislature made up of representatives of different groups of citizens

Birth of democratic nation

Birth of Democratic Nation

By the 1750’s, the English government saw the colonies as a great source of wealth

Salutary Neglect - The English government basically ignored the colonies and colonists for a long time

1760 – Mercantilism instituted by England

theory that a country should sell more products to other countries than it buys from other countries – ensures $$$$

Birth of democratic nation1

Birth of Democratic Nation

King George III began to squeeze all the wealth out of America.

England required the American colonies to sell raw materials to England at low prices and also

Required the colonists in America to buy English products at high prices.

Citizens in the colonies began to suffer financially.

New problems for colonists

New Problems for Colonists…

1763, Britain and Colonists win French & Indian War

In huge debt, Britain placed new taxes on colonists to help pay off the debt

1765 – Stamp Act - requiring colonists to purchase and attach expensive tax stamps to all newspapers and documents

Using the slogan, “No taxation without representation,” many colonists boycotted, or refused to buy, English products. (it worked and tax repealed…for now)

New problems for colonists1

New Problems for Colonists…

1767 – Coercive Acts (Colonists called it Intolerable Acts)

These laws restricted or took away 3 rights or protections of the colonists:

1. Colonists could no longer have a trial by jury.

2. British soldiers could search the colonist’s homes without just cause.

3. British soldiers could move in and takeover the colonist’s homes.

New problems for colonists2

New Problems for Colonists…

In 1770, as colonists protested these laws, several were killed by troops at the Boston Massacre.

In 1773, The Tea Act, passed by Parliament, caused the price of tea to rise. Colonists responded by dressing up like Indians and dumping tea into Boston Harbor, during The Boston Tea Party.

Enough already
Enough Already!

  • Finally, in 1774, the colonial governments decided to band together to fight the Intolerable Acts.

  • In September 1774, 12 of the 13 colonies sent delegates (representatives) to a meeting in Philadelphia.

  • This formal meeting to discuss matters (called a congress) became known as the FirstContinental Congress. (Georgia did not attend)

First continental congress
First Continental Congress

  • The First Continental Congress lasted 7 weeks. 3 actions were decided:

  • 1. The delegates created and sent a document to King George III demanding that the colonist’s rights be restored and that the Intolerable Acts be repealed.

  • 2. The delegates agreed to extend the boycott of English products.

  • 3. The delegates agreed to meet again the next year if King George did not meet their demands.

  • * King refused. Battles at Lexington and Concord took place “Shot Heard Around the World” – many now considering a revolution since English killed ‘Americans’

Second continental congress
Second Continental Congress

  • The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in May 1775

  • Not all of the delegates favored independence from England. (Most were wealthy with a lot to lose)

  • Delegates appointed a committee to write a document announcing this independence to the world (Thomas Jefferson will write majority of the Declaration of Independence)

Declaration of independence
Declaration of Independence

  • Written by Thomas Jefferson, argued that colonists had the ‘right’ to be independent

  • The ideas expressed by Jefferson were ideas of others:

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau - all people were created equal

  • John Locke - natural rights; social compact

  • The Declaration of Independence explained that since England no longer looked out for the colonists and their rights, it could no longer rule over them.

  • Delegates approved it on July 4, 1776, and the 13 colonies became 13 independent nations. A war with England was all that stood in the way of true independence from England.

So now what
So, now what?

  • When the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, it did not make a United States of America.

  • It actually created 13 separate countries, from the 13 colonies, each with its own government and laws.

  • Each of the 13 colonies called themselves a state, which also means country.

  • **They had no desire to create some large, unified government at this time.

So now what1
So, now what?

  • All of the 13 new American states, or countries, immediately confirmed their independence by taking 4 actions:

  • Writing a detailed constitution for their state.

  • Creating a government with a legislature, most with a two-house legislature, to make laws.

  • Electing a governor, either chosen by the state legislature, or the state’s citizens, to carry out the laws.

  • Setting up a court system, to interpret the laws of the state.

    ** Many of the states also included a bill of rights guaranteeing certain basic freedoms to the citizens of their state, including trial by jury