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Why did American Colonists want to free themselves from Great Britain.

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Presentation on theme: "Why did American Colonists want to free themselves from Great Britain."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why did American Colonists want to free themselves from Great Britain

2  How did both classical republicans and the natural rights philosophers influence the Founders’ views about government? What are the essential differences between classical republicanism and natural rights philosophy? Why do both classical republicans and natural rights philosophers stress the need for education and preparation for citizenship?  What are the fundamental characteristics of a constitutional government? In what ways does constitutional government mean limited government? Describe at least three provisions of the Constitution that provide a means of preventing the abuse or misuse of governmental power. Explain how these provisions work in our system of government today.  What effect did colonial experiences have on the Founders’ views about rights and government? In what ways were 18 th century American and British societies similar or dissimilar in terms of the rights of individual liberty, equality of opportunity, and property? How did early state constitution reflect colonial experiences as well as the ides of classical republicanism and natural rights philosophy?

3  CapitalismFeudalismRepublic  CharterIndentured ServantRule of Law  Checks and Balances Limited GovernmentSocial Contract Theory  Civic VirtueNatural RightsSovereignty  Common GoodParliamentVeto  ConstitutionPrecedentWrit of Assistance

4  Things learned from Ancient and British History  Limited vs. Unlimited Government  Types of Constitutions  Classical Republicanism vs. Natural Rights Theory  Social Contract/Consent of the Governed  Private vs. Public Morality  Feudalism  Capitalism  Age of Enlightenment/Education affects thinking  Magna Carta/Petition of Rights/English Bill of Rights  Habeas Corpus/Trial by Jury  Mayflower Compact  Legislative Supremacy  Key Documents in British History that shifted power from King  Right to Vote/Landownership connected... WHY?  Written guarantees in colonial documents  British policies towards Colonies that push colonists toward independence  Major Objections to British policies by the colonists  Declaration of Independence (basic ideas and arguments)  Basic Ideas in the new State Constitutions  4 Key Concepts ( Higher Law, Popular Sovereignty, Legislative Supremacy, Checks and Balances)

5  Generations of colonists had grown used to little interference from the British government in their affairs  Several factors will change that Large debts incurred in the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) Heavy Pressure to reduce taxes at home in England  Colonists taxes less to offset the hardships they faced Increased control by Crown (Proclamation Act of 1763)  Illegal to settle lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. Too expensive to protect settlers The Stamp Act increased British government control over trade  Imposed duties (tax) on documents needed to do trades 1 st Quartering Act in the colonies in 1774  Required colonists to shelter troops

6  While some accepted new taxes and other controls, others did not  New taxes not only meant some colonists would lose money, it also went against what the colonists had come to believe about representative government  John Locke had written: “ The supreme power cannot take from any man part of his property without his own consent... that is, the consent of the majority, giving it either by themselves or their representatives chosen by them.”  Colonists believed taxes could only be placed upon them by the assemblies they had elected  NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

7  Sons of Liberty formed of those set on resisting the actions of the British government Resisted Violence Political Agitation designed to encourage crowd action  Stamp Act Congress to organize resistance Used boycotts to make their point Parliament repealed the Stamp Act but passed the DECLARATORY ACT asserting Great Britain’s full power over the colonies  The Townsend Acts New taxes on tea, paper, and glass  Daughters of Liberty New boycotts of English goods Urges colonists to become economically independent from England

8  Parliament gave new power to revenue officials Writ of Assistance gave officials broad authority to search and seize colonial property Colonists charged with various crimes were transported to Nova Scotia or England for trials that were often delayed British troops were sent to the colonies to aid in the collection of taxes  The Boston Massacre 5 colonists killed when British troops fired on protestors throwing snowballs and rocks at them This incident convinced many colonists their government was willing to use force against them to force their obedience

9  Committees of Correspondence (CofC) – organized and publicized colonial opposition (1 st Continental Congress) By fall of 1774, 12 of 13 colonies (not georgia) sent representatives to meet and decide what needed to be done Voted to ban colonial trade with Great Britain to force them to change their policies  England saw this action as irresponsible defiance and ordered the arrest of the leaders of the CofC. Saw as an act of TREASON  Leaders were already preparing for war against England They believed it was the right of the people to overthrow an unresponsive government that was not protecting their rights  They formed a civilian militia called the MINUTEMEN  On April19, British troops marched on Concorde to arrest the leaders (Sam Adams & John Hancock)  Paul Revere & William Dawes alerted the colonists to the approaching British troops  Adams and Hancock escaped, the Minutemen pushed back to British troops“The Shot Heard Round the World”

10  November 1775 – the King officially declared the colonies in rebellion and withdrew his protection  Winter – Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “COMMON SENSE” turned colonial opinion towards independence  By Spring 1776 – it seemed independence the only solution to the concerns of the colonists  Continental Congress commissioned Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence  The D of I renounced the monarchy itself and stated that the sovereignty was with the people

11 1. Natural Right Rights are self-evident, are unalienable (higher law) If the government violates these rights, they should be changed 2. Human Equality All men are created equal (not given right to rule by birth) Right to Rule must be based on agreement or compact 3. Government by Consent People will agree to be ruled by a government that protects their rights 4. “A Long List of Abuses” King George III violated the compact with his people by depriving them of their rights “Absolute Tyranny” 5. Right of Revolution * “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends for which government is created, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it”


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