CHAPTER 2 Origins of American Government
Chapter 2 • Early English Settlers created government positions in the colonies that were modeled after English government. Ex. Sheriff, coroner, justice of the peace, etc. • These settlers also brought with them the concept of limited government. This is the belief that government is not all powerful and people have certain rights that can not be taken away.
Chapter 2 • This idea of limited government was created in England with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. This took place nearly 400 years earlier than the first settlement at Jamestown in 1607. • These settlers also brought with them the concept of representational government. This concept states that people run the government through elected representatives and is still used in the U.S. and many other countries today.
Chapter 2 • In 1215 King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta by a group of barons. They were seeking to gain protection from heavy taxes and military campaigns. • The Magna Carta included such rights as the right to a trial by jury, due process of law, right to life, liberty or property. • The rights were originally only intended for the upper class but through time have been applied to many people.
Chapter 2 • The petition of right was another document that limited the king’s power. It said that the king could not imprison political critics and could not require people to shelter the troops without consent. • After much turmoil and revolt in England William and Mary of Orange were given the crown by Parliament in 1688.
Chapter 2 • The events that led them to receiving the crown was called the Glorious Revolution • In 1689 Parliament drew up an English Bill of Rights which William and Mary had to sign. • This document included such guarantees as the right to a fair and speedy trial and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. • It also prohibited excessive bail
Chapter 2 • The 13 colonies were formed over a period of 125 years with Virginia being the first and Georgia being the last. All of the colonies were established on the basis of a charter. • Charter- a written grant of authority from the king.
Chapter 2 • The Royal Colonies were under the direct control of the crown. There were 8 royal colonies including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. • In these colonies the king could appoint a governor to serve as a chief executive. The king also appointed a council to be an advisory to the governor. This council became the upper house in the colony’s government.
Chapter 2 • Lower house of the bicameral legislature was elected by those property owners qualified to vote. Bicameral means a legislature with two houses. • The proprietary colonies were Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. A proprietor was a person to whom the king had given a grant of land in which they could govern as they please.
Chapter 2 • In 1632 the king granted Maryland to Lord Baltimore, in 1681, Pennsylvania to William Penn, and in 1682 Penn also acquired Delaware. • In these colonies Maryland and Delaware had bicameral legislatures much like the royal colonies • Pennsylvania, had a unique government which was unicameral. Unicameral means that the legislature had only one house.