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Origins of American Government. Colonial Period Uniting for Independence The Articles of Confederation The Constitutional Convention. Our Political Heritage (England). Limited Government Representative Government Written Constitutions Separation of Powers. Learning Objectives.

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Origins of american government

Origins of American Government

Colonial Period

Uniting for Independence

The Articles of Confederation

The Constitutional Convention

Our political heritage england
Our Political Heritage (England)

  • Limited Government

  • Representative Government

  • Written Constitutions

  • Separation of Powers

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Identify 3 or more events in England that led to a shift in power between the King and the people

  • Name the 2 men whose philosophy of rights led the colonists’ path to independence

  • Explain “Salutory Neglect” and how it led to a feeling of self-government

  • Identify the 3 requirements of the King for the colonists to continue levels of self-government

The colonial period
The Colonial Period

  • An English Political Heritage

    • Limited Government

      • Magna Charta - 1215

  • Creation of Parliament

    • House of Lords - late 1200’s

  • Petition of Rights

    • Parliament - 1628

  • English Bill of Rights

    • 1689 - List of rights King expected to protect

  • Representative Government (Parliament)

    • House of Commons

  • New Political Ideas

    • Hobbes and Locke

  • The colonies
    The Colonies

    • Why did England want to claim the new world territories?

      • Imperialization – grow their empire

      • Raw Materials

  • Why were the colonists allowed to self-govern, for the most part?

    • Geography

    • “Salutory Neglect”

  • Quick review
    Quick Review

    • Identify 2 events that happened IN ENGLAND that led to a shift in power from the King towards the people.

    • What is “Salutory Neglect”

    • Why were the colonists allowed some level of self-government?

    • What 3 things did the colonists need to do to keep the King out of their business?

    Colonial governments
    Colonial Governments

    • Written Constitutions (a deal between colonists and crown)

      • A new philosophy of “Social Contract” taking hold

      • Reaction to abuses of power by rulers

      • Each colony had a constitution that outlined how the colonial government would operate.

  • Colonial Legislatures

    • Circumstances necessitated self-government

    • Governmental leaders picked by Crown

    • In a few colonies, leaders elected by settlers

    • 3 requirements for self government

      • Remain Loyal Citizens

      • Buy British Goods

      • Provide Raw Materials

  • Separation of Powers

    • Colonies set up governments that separated powers

    • Branches of government

    • Election of local representatives

  • Uniting for independence
    Uniting for Independence

    • The Colonies on their Own

      • Years of “Salutory Neglect”

        • King George III

    • British Tighten Control

      • King George III

  • Taxing the Colonies

    • French-Indian War (1754-63)

      * War between England and France over territory

      * Very expensive war – taxes raised on English citizens

  • French and indian war
    French and Indian War

    England and the Colonies vs. French and the Indians

    Colonial unrest
    Colonial Unrest

    • Stamp Act (“Taxation Without Representation”)

      * Parliament raised taxes on colonists to help pay for French and Indian War

    • Townsend Act (Boston Massacre)

      * Passed to raise revenue and tighten customs enforcement

      * Repealed after colonial uprising

    • Tea Act (Boston Tea Party)

      * Tax on Tea

      * Monopoly given the East India Tea Company

    • Intolerable Acts

      * Reaction of England to the colonial uprisings

      * A series of taxes on almost everything

      * Boston Harbor closed to punish the leaders of the “Tea Party”

      * Forbid local governmental meetings – disallowed self-government

      * Instituted the Quartering Act

    Colonial unity
    Colonial Unity

    Taking Action

    • Boycotts

  • The First Continental Congress - 1774

    • Three options

      * Just accept the King’s tighter rules and go on

      * Try to work with the King and find middle ground

      * Declare Independence (not ready yet)

    • Declaration of Rights and Grievances

      * attempt to settle disputes in a peaceful manner

      * King viewed as an act of TREASON

  • The Second Continental Congress - 1775

    • King’s reaction forced the hand of the leaders of the colonists

    • They either had to “cave in” or declare independence

  • Independence

    • Independence

      • The Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776

      • KEY PARTS of the Declaration

        • Declare Independence

        • State Reason

        • Set out Principles of the new government they hoped to create

      • The First State Constitutions

    Declaration of independence group activity p r39 r41
    Declaration of Independence (group activity) p R39-R41

    • Group One (Preamble through Declaration of Natural Rights)

      • Emily, Alexis, April, Charity

  • Group Two (List of Grievances – beginning thru “He has refused for a long time” paragraph)

    • Christina, Jamie, Karlie, Michael C

  • Group Three (He has endeavoured through “For transporting us” paragraph)

    • Thomas, Cassie, Codi, Blake, Brandt, Sierra Sisco

  • Group Four (For Abolishing through “In every stage” paragraph)

    • Kaitlyn, Josh, Heather, Justin

  • Group Five (Nor have we through the end)

    • Henage, Jessica, Sierra Schackmann, Scott

  • Declaration of independence group activity p r39 r411
    Declaration of Independence(group activity) p.R39-R41

    • Group One (Preamble through Declaration of Natural Rights)

      • Anisa, AJ, Jason, Mickey, Chris

    • Group Two (List of Grievances – beginning thru “He has refused for a long time” paragraph)

      • Jasmine, Austin, Justin, Kevin, Jamie

    • Group Three (He has endeavoured through “For transporting us” paragraph)

      • Brandon, Kacey, Rebeccah, Shane, Tiffany

    • Group Four (For Abolishing through “In every stage” paragraph)

      • Jordan, Tyler, Robbie, Brian, Dalton

    • Group Five (Nor have we through the end)

      • Derek, Derrick, Miguel, Pedro, Andy


    When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another

    There are times in history when citizens need to cut their political ties with their home country.

    Preamble to the declaration of independence
    Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

    • When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another; and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind require that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    The articles of confederation
    The Articles of Confederation

    • Government Under the Articles of Confederation

      • Written during Revolutionary War

      • Reactionary Government

  • Weaknesses of the Articles

    • Intentionally weak central government

    • No power over interstate commerce

  • Achievements

    • National policy for western lands

    • 1783 – Treaty of Paris formally ended Revolutionary War

    • Creation of Departments of War, Treasury (setting precedent)

    • “Full Faith and Credit”

  • Articles of confederation
    Articles of Confederation

    • Gov’t Could:

      • Borrow or request money from the states

      • Declare war and peace

      • Maintain an army and navy

      • Make treaties and alliances with other nations

      • Regulate affairs with Native Americans

      • Establish post offices

      • Decide certain disputes among the states

    • Gov’t Could Not:

      • Levy or Collect Taxes

      • Require states to provide money for running the national government

      • Regulate Trade

      • Force anyone to abide by the law

      • Amend the Articles without the consent of all 13 states

      • Establish an executive branch

      • Establish a national court

    The articles of confederation1
    The Articles of Confederation

    • The Need for a Stronger National Government

      • Growing Problems

        • States began to quarrel

        • Serious money problems (both federal and state)

    • Shays’ Rebellion (“A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing”)

      • Armed rebellion by farmers led by Daniel Shays over foreclosures and unfair laws

      • Rebellion stopped by state militia

      • Unrest frightened American leaders

  • The Annapolis Convention

    • Called to address problems

    • Only 5 states attended (most saw as not in the state’s interest

    • Called for another convention to “fix” the Articles of Confederation

  • The constitutional convention
    The Constitutional Convention

    • The Convention Begins

      • Organization

        • George Washington chosen to preside

        • Each state would get one vote

        • Simple majority to make decision

        • No meeting without a quorum (half or more present)

    • Key Agreements

      • Articles of Confederation could not be fixed

      • A new government was needed

      • Increased power of central government

      • Power needed to be divided between 3 branches

      • Power of states to coin money or interfere with creditor’s rights would be limited

      • Absolute Secrecy – 20 year code of silence)

    Quick review1
    Quick Review

    • What were 2 things that began shifting the powers from the King to the people?

    • What were 2 events that happened in the colonies that pushed the colonists to independence?

    • What was the battle cry of the colonists who believed the King was abusing his power?

    • What was the first attempt of the colonists to peacefully work with the King to resolve their problems?

    • What body declared independence and acted as the first government of the US?

    • What is the name of the first written government?

    • What was/were the major flaws in that government?

    The constitutional convention1
    The Constitutional Convention

    • Decisions and Compromises

      • The Virginia Plan

        • Strong Central Government (bicameral legislature)

        • Strong Executive chosen by the national legislature

        • National Judiciary appointed by national legislature

        • Representation based on population (favored large states)

    • The New Jersey Plan

      • Smallstates feared Virginia Plan – would be overpowered by big states

      • Unicameral legislature – one vote per state (favored small states)

      • Congress would have power to tax and regulate trade

      • Weak executive – plural executive

  • The Connecticut Compromise

    • Best of both plans

    • 3 branches – bicameral legislature

      * House of Representatives based on Population

      * House would control all revenue laws

      * Senate based on Equality

      * Senators selected by state legislatures

  • The constitutional convention2
    The Constitutional Convention

    • The 3/5ths Compromise

      • Would the slaves be counted as part of representation?

  • Commerce and the Slave Trade

    • Slavery, itself, might be a deal breaker

    • Congress could not ban the slave trade for 20 years

    • Congress would get the power to regulate interstate commerce

    • The refusal to deal with slavery once and for all left it as a sore point for decades to come. Would eventually lead to the Civil War

  • Other Compromises

    • How to elect the President (Electoral College)

    • How long the President would serve (eventually agreed to 4 year terms)

  • Ratifying the constitution
    Ratifying the Constitution

    • Federalists and Anti-Federalists

      • 9 out of 13 States

      • The Great Debates

        • Federalists -- argued in favor of the Constitution

          • Best that could be done

        • Antifederalists -- argued against the Constitution

          • Too much power to the central government

          • No Bill of Rights


    • For a stronger central government as outlined in the Constitution

    • Backed by merchants, cities and coastal regions

    • Key Members:

      • Alexander Hamilton

      • James Madison

      • John Jay

      • George Washington


    • Opposed to the new Constitution


  • Backed by inland farmers and laborers

  • Criticized the secrecy of the convention


  • Key Members:

    • Patrick Henry

    • Samuel Adams

    • George Mason

    • James Monroe

  • Ratification

    • Progress towards Ratification

      • Federalist Papers

      • State by state debates/votes

        • Delaware – 1st to Ratify

        • When 9th state ratified, big states still out (New York, Virginia)

        • New York debates

  • First act of Congress

    • Wrote and passed the Bill of Rights

  • Review

    • Events in England that led to a shift in power

    • Events in the Colonies that led towards independence

      • Actions of King/Parliament

      • Reactions of Colonists

    • Articles of Confederation

      • Weaknesses

    • The Constitutional Convention

      • 3 plans

      • Other compromises

    • Ratification Process

      • Federalists

      • Antifederalists

    Chapter two essay pick 2 and answer fully
    Chapter Two Essay (pick 2 and answer fully)

    • Why did the Founding Fathers feel independence was the ONLY option left to the colonies?

    • What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence? Explain what the 3 major sections tried to accomplish.

    • The Bill of Rights became a key issue during the ratification process. Why was the Bill of Rights so important to the Anti-federalists? (why did they fight so hard to have it added to the Constitution)

    • Explain the Connecticut Compromise (or Great Compromise). What were the compromises made so it could be signed?