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IV) Government in the Colonies = Government in the US Today.

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Presentation on theme: "IV) Government in the Colonies = Government in the US Today."— Presentation transcript:

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2 IV) Government in the Colonies = Government in the US Today

3 A) First some background…the 13 colonies differed in why they were formed over 125 years – What are the thirteen original colonies? 1) some were formed by a company wanting to get rich (like Va.) 2) some were established to be a safe place for people in debt (Ga.) 3) some were established so that the people could worship how they pleased (Mass.)

4 B) Yet they all had an executive branch (a governor), a legislature and a court system (just like today’s government) – however they differed in who had the most power

5 1) In the royal colonies- the king and governor are chiefly in control – ex: NH, Mass, NY, NJ, VA, NC, SC, and GA a) king appoints a governor to supervise what he wants to be done b) the king appointed a governor, an advisory council (the upper house of the legislature) and a high court

6 c) lets certain land owners elect the lower house (the lower house shares the power to tax –similar to the House of Rep. today - with the high council and governor) d) governors and king pass the laws

7 2) in the propriety colonies – ex: MD,PA, DE – the Landlord ruled for example Lord Baltimore ruled Maryland and William Penn ruled Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware a) the governor is appointed by the proprietor (landlord) of the colonies

8 b) the legislature has two houses (similar to today) in some states (MD and DE) and only one house in PA – they had some officials appointed by the proprietor c) courts were under supervision by king and members of the high council chosen by the proprietor

9 3) Finally in the charter colonies – the people ruled (much like today) – ex: CT&RI a) governors were elected each year by white freemen who owned property (king didn’t need to approve but sometimes the people wanted his blessing) b) they had a 2 house legislature which was not subject to royal review or even review by the governor c) their judges were appointed by colonists (through their legislature)

10 C) No matter what their differences, all of the colonies (because they were so far from their rulers in England) had established a set of rules and procedures for their colonial governments called their constitutions

11 1) The first attempt by the American colonies to put their laws in order was the Mayflower Compact signed in 1620 a) stated that the Pilgrims all got together and agreed to chose their own leaders and make their own laws b) it wasn’t too specific on just how exactly they wanted this to be done though

12 2) 1 st real constitution of the US – Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, signed in 1639 a) showed how the governor was to be elected (through a simple ballot process) b) showed how and when the courts were to be chosen and sworn in c) showed how they were to debate in order to “give liberty of speech” and “silence unreasonable and disorderly speaking” – many of these rules are used by our Congress today

13 3) Other constitutions which followed in the colonies only made improvements – For Example: a) VA’s constitution included the legislature having the power to help farmers in times of drought (just like today) and even say what was or wasn’t improper dress

14 b) Other constitutions soon stated that legislatures could control how land was distributed, how to establish schools and local courts, and how to build roads c) Finally all constitutions stated that there would be a clear separation of powers between the executive (governor) and legislative branches to make sure that the government was not going to be controlled by just one power

15 d) As more constitutions were being enacted, the legislature was gaining more power over royal officials appointed by the king (at that time King George III) e) This seemed reasonable to the crown since messages sent from the king took at least 2 months to reach the colonies – the king figured it might be easier if they ruled themselves and didn’t bother him

16 f) As for the colonies they didn’t mind for the most part since the remaining royal presence there since: 1)the British were protecting them from the French (who had settled in nearby Canada) and … 2)their taxes were low!

17 D)This would all change after the French and Indian War ( ) – as a result of the war: 1)the colonies (and Britain) gained large amounts of territory in the east to settle

18 2) both sides were also given a huge war debt 3)seeing no other way to pay off the debt (because he had taxed the people of England too much already), the newly appointed King George III raised taxes in the colonies

19 4) Even though the colonies were paying less than the actual British citizens, they were still upset about the new taxes 5) They thought the king had assessed the tax without their consent thereby violating what English document? The English Bill of Rights

20 6) They argued that the members of Parliament shouldn’t be representing the colonies because none of them were from the colonies 7)Parliament argued however that they represented the best interests of the entire British Empire 8) The colonies figured now that once the French threat of invasion had been removed, they could take care of themselves fully

21 E) The colonies began to unite 1) the colonies first got the idea to join up in 1643 when parts of Mass. and Conn. formed a confederation (the joining together of individual groups for a common purpose) called the New England Confederation to defend themselves against Native Americans

22 2) Then in 1754, during the French and Indian War, the Albany Plan of Union was formed a) the plan and its congress did not work because the colonies thought the proposed legislative branch would have too much power b) however, at the meeting, Benjamin Franklin proposed that the colonies should be able to trade and raise an army to defend themselves and trade with Native Americans

23 3) Then in 1765, in protest to the harsh British laws known as the Stamp Act, the Stamp Act Congress was formed a) 9 out of the 13 colonies met and declared that the Stamp Act passed by the British was unfair and should be repealed b) they did not call for a revolution though

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25 4)After the Stamp Act Congress fell, Samuel Adams and his Committee of Correspondence kept the colonies together through an intense letter writing campaign

26 5) The colonies then formally got together during the 1 st Continental Congress

27 a) it was organized as a result of the Intolerable Acts (a reaction to the Boston Tea Party)

28 b) 12 of the colonies met together to find some common ground (Georgia did not attend) c) they decided to place an embargo on all British goods until the British taxes were repealed – What does that mean? An embargo is when you refuse to trade with another country

29 d) They also sent King George III a “Declaration of Rights” for the people in the colonies

30 6) In response, the British sent in troops and fighting broke out and the colonies met together for the 2 nd Continental Congress in 1775 where they organized (due in part to the battles of Lexington and Concord) an army, navy, military leader (George Washington), currency, central government, and also the …

31 F) Declaration of Independence 1) influenced by the essay Common Sense by Thomas Paine who argued that the colonies desire for government was a “natural right” – What English philosopher said that we also have certain “natural rights” as part of our agreement with a ruler? John Locke

32 2) the writing of the declaration was seen as the next logical step for the 2 nd Continental Congress in terms of moving away from the king

33 3) it was written by Jefferson, proofread by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin 4) approved by Congress on July 4, 1776

34 5) influenced many other states to adopt new constitutions centered around its ideas 6) 3 main parts a) the idea of basic human rights b) the complaints the colonies had against King George III c )the determination of the colonies to not let this happen again

35 Now its your turn to rewrite the Declaration IN YOUR OWN WORDS – here’s the deal: 1) you will be split into four groups 2) each group will be given 1 of the 4 portions of the Declaration to rewrite in your own words 3) you may split the lines up however you may wish but each person will be responsible in rewriting something 4) Remember, these are your words so make them as “creative” as you want in translating the document but keep it “G” rated. By the way if you don’t understand a word – look it up in the dictionary! 5) Once you and your group have all you lines rewritten have one member write them in marker with the paper provided


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