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Origins of American Government

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  1. Origins of American Government Chapter 2

  2. Section I

  3. Our Political Beginnings

  4. The Beginning • North American Exploration Begins In Mid-16th Century • European explorers, traders, & settlers • French, Dutch, Spanish, Swedes, & the English • English settlers most numerous • Native American dominations begins to fade

  5. Basic Concepts of Government • English settlers brought their own traditions and customs • English law has deep roots in Middle Eastern & Ancient Roman Traditions • Brought ideas on government • Ordered Government • Limited Government • Representative Government

  6. Ordered Government • Orderly regulation of relationships is key • Creation of local offices; many still found today • Sheriff • Coroner • Assessor • Justice of the Peace • Grand Jury • Counties & Townships

  7. Limited Government • Government should not be all-powerful • Individual rights should not be touched by the government • These ideas have a strong hold in English government & law practice

  8. Representative Government • Government should serve the will of the people • People should have a voice in the government • Notion of “government of, by, and for the people”, took root in colonial America

  9. Landmark Documents

  10. Magna Carta • Known as the “Great Charter” • Signed by King John in 1215 at Runnymede • Unhappy barons tired of heavy taxes and military campaigns • Pressured King John • Protection from unfair act by the Crown

  11. …Continued • The Magna Carta Included • Trial by jury • Due process • Protection of taking of life, liberty, or property • Intended for the upper classes • Evolved into including all classes • Est. that monarchial power was NOT absolute

  12. Petition of Rights • Magna Carta fell in and out of favor • Parliament began gaining more influence • 1628 Charles I asked Parliament for money • Parliament demanded he sign the “Petition of Rights” • Heavily limited King’s powers

  13. …Continued • Power Limitations • Imprisonment could not occur without a judgment by a jury of peers • No martial law in times of peace • No quartering of troops by private citizens • Challenged “Divine Right” • King subject to the laws as well

  14. The English Bill of Rights • 1688 saw the end of conflicts in England • William & Mary of Orange crowned • Called the “Glorious Revolution” • Parliament began drawing up the Bill of Rights • Officially accepted in 1689

  15. …Continued • English Bill of Rights included • Prohibition of a standing army during peace time • Parliament elections should be free • Prohibition of the Crown levying money • Petitions can be heard by the king • The Crown could no longer tamper with English Law • Right to a fair trial • No excessive bail or cruel/unusual punishment

  16. The English Colonies

  17. Introduction • 13 colonies est. over 125 years • Outposts & forts became thriving communities • Virginia,1607 • Jamestown • Commercial venture, company owned trading operation • Massachusetts, 1620 • Settled for religious freedom • Georgia, 1733 • Savannah • Haven for English debtors and petty criminals • Penal Colony

  18. Royal Colonies • Controlled by the Crown • NH, MA, NY, NJ, VA, NC, SC, GA • Crown had ability to give and take charter • Virginia’s charter seized from London Co. • Royal Appointments • Governor • Council (Upper House & highest court • Other Appointments • Lower House (Elected by white, land-owning, males) • Judges (Appointed by Governor

  19. Proprietary Colonies • Maryland, Pennsylvania, & Delaware • Organized by a proprietor • King granted land • Proprietor could govern as he please • Lord Baltimore (Maryland)-1632 • William Penn (Pennsylvania)-1681 (Delaware)- 1682

  20. …Continued • Governors appointed by proprietors • Maryland & Delaware had bicameral houses • Similar to royal colonies • Pennsylvania had a unicameral house • Close ties to the Crown

  21. Charter Colonies • Connecticut (1662) & Rhode Island (1663) • Self-governing • Governor elected each year by white, land owning males • King had to approve but was rarely asked • Bicameral Houses • No executive veto or Crown approval required • Judges appointed by legislature

  22. …Continued • Petitions could be sent to the king • Charters extremely liberal • Slightly changed after the American Revolution • Remained state constitutions until 1818 (Connecticut) and 1843 (Rhode Island) • If all the colonies had been so liberal the Revolution may never have happened

  23. Section II

  24. The Coming of Independence

  25. Britain’s Colonial Policies • Colonies controlled by the Crown • Privy Council & Board of Trade in London • Parliament little interest in management (trade only) • Colonies under framework of royal control • London was over 3000 miles away • Self-government evolved • Colonial legislatures • Broad lawmaking power • Power of the purse

  26. …Continued • Development of a “Federal” system • London provided defense and dealt with foreign affairs • Colonies allowed to self rule, hardly taxed, and they ignored trade regulations

  27. George III • Began his reign in 1760 • More firm dealings with colonist • Enforced ignored regulations • New taxes imposed to support troops in the Colonies

  28. Colonial Response • “Taxation without representation” • Felt there was no need for stationed troops • French had been defeated in 1763 • The Government was across the ocean • Out of touch with colonial life • Saw themselves as British • The questions posed: Submit or Revolt?

  29. Growing Colonial Unity

  30. Early Attempts • 1643- New England Confederation formed • Confederation: Joining of several groups for a common purpose • Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven, & Connecticut members • “League of Friendship” • Gathered for the purpose of defense

  31. …Continued • The Albany Plan • 1754 • British Board of Trade calls a meeting of Colonial delegates • Worked toward defense of trade • Ben Franklin purposed the Albany Plan of Union • Delegates would meet annually • Raise military forces, makes war & peace with Indians, regulate trade, tax & collect customs duties • Turned down by colonies and the Crown

  32. …Continued • The Stamp Act Congress • Crown’s tax and trade polices angered the Colonies • Stamp Act-1765 • Tax on legal documents, business agreements, & newspapers • “Taxation without representation” • October 1765-Stamp Act Congress meets • Colonies but GA, NH, NC, VA gathered in New York • Prepared “Declaration of Rights & Grievances” • Sent petition to the king • Parliament repealed the Stamp Act

  33. Tensions • Parliament closing the gap between the Colonies and London • Colonial boycott of English goods • Refusal to buy or sell certain products or goods • March 5, 1770-Boston Massacre (5 Killed) • December 16, 1773-Boston Tea Party • Men dressed as Native Americans board three English ships in Boston Harbor • Dumped cargo overboard

  34. …Continued • Committees of Correspondence formed • Grew from the idea of Samuel Adams in Boston • Spread across colonies • Exchange of information among patriots

  35. The Congresses

  36. First Continental Congress • Intolerable Acts passed in 1774 • Punishment for Boston Tea Party • Sept. 5, 1774 • Congress meets in Philadelphia • GA did not attend • Political minds of the day • Prepared and sent Declaration of Rights to the king • Called for end of English trade until Acts repealed • Adjourned in October with plans to meet in May • Support grew over the months for FCC

  37. The Second Continental Congress • 1774-1775; British stand by colonial policies • Reaction to the Declaration of Rights • Stricter and more repressive measures • Congress • Met again in Philadelphia • May 10, 1775 • The Revolution had already begun • “Shot heard ‘round the world” • Battle at Lexington and Concord on April 19

  38. …Continued • Representatives • All 13 colonies participated • Ben Franklin, John Adams, & John Hancock • Hancock picked as president of the Congress • Accomplishments • Continental Army Created • George Washington chosen as Commander-in-Chief • Jefferson replaces Washington on Virginia’s delegation

  39. Our First National Government • SCC forced to become the first national government • No constitutional base • Denounced by British as unlawful and treasonous • Waves of growing public support • Served for 5 years (1776-1781) • Each Colony had 1 vote • Legislative & Executive power linked together

  40. …Continued • Accomplishments • Fought a war • Raised an army & navy • Borrowed money • Bought supplies • Created a monetary system • Negotiated treaties

  41. The Declaration of Independence • Richard Henry Lee proposed separation from Britain • Resolution of June 7, 1776 • Committee picked to prepare Declaration • Adams, Franklin, & Jefferson • Work on Declaration of Independence • July 2, 1776, Delegates agreed to Lee’s resolution

  42. …Continued • July 4, 1776 • Declaration of Independence proclaimed • Independence declared in 1 paragraph • 2/3 speak of injuries by the Crown that led to revolt • Called for equality of all men • 56 men signed the final document

  43. Constitutions

  44. The First State Constitutions • January 1776, NH replaces charter with Constitution • SC soon follows • May 10, 1776, Congress urges remaining states to follow suit

  45. Drafting State Constitutions • 1776-1777, Most states adopt state constitutions • States use assemblies of convention to draw state documents • MA presented convention work to voters for ratification • 1780-Oldest present state constitution • Oldest constitution still in force today

  46. Common Factors • Early documents relatively brief • Popular Sovereignty • Government can exist only with consent of the people • Limited Government • Ex. Governor powers given hesitantly • Civil Rights & Liberties • Sovereign people have certain rights/government must respect them • 7 constitutions contained “Bill of Rights”

  47. …Continued • Separation of Powers • Division into 3 branches of government • Executive, Legislative, & Judicial branches • Restraint on government actions (Checks and Balances) • State governors given little power • Power given to the Legislative Branch • Terms of office short (1 to 2 years) • Right to vote- Adult, white males, who met property requirements

  48. Section III