Chapter 2Origins of U.S. Government What political ideals did English colonists bring with them to North America? What major documents limited the power of English monarchs? How were the ideals of limited and representative government evident in colonial governments?
English Influences British colonists to the Americas brought with them many English ideals for governing. Limited Government Representative Government Ideals helped to shape a government that served the public good in the colonies and U.S.
Before the 1200’s few limits on government in England. Monarchs could tax people and seize property at will. Monarch could steal land from his subjects. Could give stolen land to people that were loyal to monarch.
Magna Carta English nobles got tired of it. They forced King John to sign Magna Carta. “Great Charter” Limited monarchy’s power by establishing rule of law. Governments, monarchs, and other leaders have to obey the laws just like everyone else.
Monarchs could no longer levy taxes without citizens’ approval. Those accused of crimes had the right to a trial by their peers. The monarch could no longer imprison people or take away their property at his discretion. Started out only protecting nobles but gradually became a protection for all English citizens. Magna Carta laid the foundation for a government that promotes the public good.
Representative Government One of the oldest governmental ideals that influenced our government today. Has its roots in in a council of nobles and high religious officials that advised monarchs. These councils gradually became more important and influential. The councils eventually were made up of representatives from the local towns and villages.
Parliament As the council became more important, it developed into a bicameral. Two-chamber legislature= Parliament Upper house= House of Lords (Nobles)Lower House=House of Commons (Lesser officials/local representatives) As representatives of the people, Parliament worked to gradually limit the power of the English monarchs.
Important Documents Parliament worked to accomplish this by passing the Petition of Right and the English Bill of Rights. Petition of Right was signed by Charles I in 1628. It limited the monarch’s ability to act on his/her sole authority. It kept the king from imprisoning people illegally, he could not force citizens to quarter soldiers in their homes, or establish military rule during times of peace. He also had to get approval from Parliament rather than just from the nobles to raise taxes.
The Petition of Right was an important part of what would become the English Civil War between Charles I and Parliament. Charles I was beheaded. English Civil War William and Mary serve as king and queen. They are forced to sign the English Bill of Rights
English Bill of Rights Established that the monarchy couldn’t rule without the consent of Parliament. The document included many protections: Citizens had the right to petition the king without fear or punishment. Free Parliamentary elections. The king could not have his own personal army. (Had to have Parliamentary consent). Parliament should be allowed to operate without royal interference.
Meanwhile, in North America English colonists began to settle in parts of North America. The first permanent English colony was in Jamestown. Jamestown, along with other colonies, were established by charters. An agreement where the monarch gave settlers the right to set up a colony.
Colonists Begin With Control The government was limited in the colonies from the beginning. The Massachusetts Charter guaranteed elections. Leaders were chosen from the males given the charter. These leaders would be responsible for establishing an assembly to make laws, elect officials, or govern the economy.
Governing the Colonies In 1733, Georgia was added to the list of colonies bringing it up to 13. Each colony has a system that reflected the ideals of limited and representative government. Each governor served as the colony’s executive. Some were appointed while others were elected. Most governors were advised by a council that further served as the highest court in the land.
These councils usually were made up of 12 male property owners. In some colonies, the council served as the upper house in the colony’s assembly. Most colonies also had an assembly made up of the colonists’ elected representatives. The council and representative assemblies checked the governors power.
3 Types of Colonies Royal: The most common type of colony. Belonged to the crown. Virginia was a royal colony.
Proprietary Colonies Proprietary colonies were granted by the king to an individual or small group of individuals. These individuals were known as proprietors and had personal control of the colony. Examples: Pennsylvania and Maryland
Corporate Colonies Founded without direct authorization from the English government. England did control military affairs and trade in the corporate colonies. The crown exercised this sort of control on an irregular basis. Examples: Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Mercantilism One of the chief reasons for empire building. It spurred a belief that economies had to be regulated. Colonies were acquired to satisfy the needs of the mother country. Imports, additional markets, etc. The mother country used its power to strip colonies of their wealth
For the first 150 years of settlement at Plymouth, England was very lenient with its colonies. 3000 miles of ocean and expensive/time consuming wars kept the Crown’s eye elsewhere in the world. As the colonies grew more prosperous, the English realized the money making potential of the colonies.
English realized that if they could remove the competition for trade in the colonies they would stand to make a lot of money. The English blocked colonial trade with other European powers through regulatory policies. Notably the Dutch who had a very profitable relationship with the colonies.
Limiting Trade From 1650 on, England began passing the Navigation Acts. A series of laws concerning trade and navigation. Wanted the colonies trading only with the English. If colonists intended to trade with other nations. The goods had to be shipped from the colonies to England in order to collect the taxes that needed to be paid. Then, the items were sent back to the colonies to be sold to competitors.
England also made a list of products which could only be sold to them. Some of these included tobacco, sugar, and cotton. This list (as well as the colonists’ anger) grew over time. England encouraged the colonists to specialize in producing raw materials.
The factories in England could then use the raw materials from the colonies to make into English goods. These goods could be sold back to the colonies giving the English additional markets for their goods. This was a market free of any competition, perfect for England to make money. Not so much for the colonies.
At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 the British were the victors. They could then focus on monitoring their colonies and enforcing their mercantilist policies. This led to intensified anger and animosity between the British and their colonial subjects in North America. Thanks to their extended taste of economic freedom, the Thirteen Colonies had no desire to return to the mercantilist policies endured by other European colonies.
The Thirteen Colonies Virginia: Jamestown was the first colony in 1607. The Virginia colonies struggled until colonists began growing and profiting from tobacco. As wealth in the area grew, more settlements began cropping up. Became a royal colony in 1624.
Massachusetts Pilgrims fled from religious persecution and founded the Plymouth Colony. (1620) Mayflower Compact In 1628, Puritans formed the Massachusetts Bay Company. (English Chartered) Puritans also settled in the area around Boston. In 1691, Plymouth joined with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Connecticut A group of individuals following Thomas Hooker broke away from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because of the Puritans’ harsh rules. Settled in the Connecticut River Valley. In 1639, three settlements in Connecticut joined together to form a unified government. Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (First written constitution in America). King Charles II unified Connecticut as a single colony in 1662.
Rhode Island Roger Williams was an English Protestant who argued for freedom of religion and separation of church and state. Was banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded Providence R.I. Anne Hutchinson (a dissident Puritan) was also banished and founded Portsmouth R.I. Two additional settlements were founded and all received a charter from England to create their own government. (Rhode Island)
New Hampshire In 1622, John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges received land in northern New England. Mason eventually formed New Hampshire and Gorges land led to Maine. Massachusetts controlled both until New Hampshire was given a royal charter in 1679 and Maine was made its own state in 1820.
Maryland Lord Baltimore received land from King Charles I to create a haven for Catholics. His son, the second Lord Baltimore, personally owned all the land and could use or sell it as he wished. In 1649, the Toleration Act was passed allowing all Christians to worship as they pleased. (Oaths still required).
The Carolinas Eight men received charters in 1663 from King Charles II to settle south of Virginia. The area was called Carolina. The main port was Charles Town (Charleston). In 1729, North and South Carolina became separate royal colonies.
New York The Dutch owned a colony called New Netherland. In 1664, Charles II granted New Netherland to his brother James, Duke of York. He just had to take it from the Dutch. He arrived with a fleet. The Dutch surrendered without a fight.
New Jersey The Duke of York granted some land to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley They named their colony New Jersey. They provided generous grants of land and freedom of religion. The two parts of the colony were not united into a royal colony until 1702.
Pennsylvania The Quakers were persecuted by the English and wished to have a colony in America. William Penn received a grant which the King called Pennsylvania. (Penn’s Woods) Penn wished to begin a “holy experiment.” (Fair treatment of Native Americans, liberal frame of government). The first settlement was Philadelphia. Quickly became one of the largest colonies in the New World.
Delaware When the Duke of York got New Netherland, he also received New Sweden which had been founded by Peter Minuit. He renamed this area Delaware. Delaware became part of Pennsylvania until 1703 when it created its own legislature.
Georgia James Oglethorpe received a charter to create a colony between South Carolina and Florida. He founded Savannah in 1733. Haven for debtors. Also blocked Spanish expansion. Georgia began with the intention to have little landholding and no slavery. However, when it became a royal colony in 1752, plantations and slavery became a major part of the Georgian economy.
The New England Colonies New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut Rich in timber, various animals for trapping, and plenty of fish. Poor farmland (rocky soil) Flourished thanks to shipbuilding, trade with European goods, fishing, and timbering. Formed the New England Confederation (first attempt at unity). Protection from Indians, Dutch, French
The Middle Colonies New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware Very good for farming, had many natural harbors. Grains, fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Raw materials were traded for manufactured goods from Europe.
Southern Colonies Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia Grew their own food as well as cash crops: Indigo, Rice, Tobacco. South was reliant on trade with England for manufactured goods and other necessities. Towns didn’t grow as quickly because plantations kept people widely separated.