Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2 Notes. Early Political and Legal Traditions What was the United States originally? Early “Americans” were of what nationality? Our political."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 2 Notes
Early Political and Legal Traditions What was the United States originally? Early “Americans” were of what nationality? Our political and legal traditions are primarily based off of whose systems?
England? Britain? United Kingdom
Early English Democratic Ideas Which document changed the political foundations of England and Europe? “The Great Charter” gave certain privileges (rights) to the nobles. Thus, a greater power was entrusted with the charter than the king (monarch). “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him or send others to do so, except with the lawful judgment of his equals, or by the law of the land.” “To no one will we sell, to no one deny, or delay justice.”
Magna Carta The legacy of the Magna Carta was a limited government and the formation of rights. Habeus Corpus: the commanding of one who is restraining liberty to produce before the court the person in custody and to show cause why the liberty of that person is being restrained. Includes trial by peers Who (what) has the greatest authority? The Magna Carta (charter) is a contract…a set of rules. Every member of society (the commonwealth) must obey the rules. In society, what do we call these rules?
Law How do we get laws? Legislature = Parliament Parliament began as the king’s personal council, but their powers were undefined even as they grew Glorious Revolution King James II (Catholic) removed from the throne His Daughter Mary and her husband William put in power (Protestant) Two Conditions: 1st condition: Parliament was given power to make laws which bind the monarch. William and Mary had to agree “to govern the people of this kingdom according to the statutes in Parliament.” 2 nd condition: English Bill of Rights (a constitution)
English Bill of Rights Monarch could not suspend Parliament’s laws. Monarch could not create own courts (w/out consent) Monarch could not suspend impose taxes (w/out consent) Monarch could not raise an army (w/out consent) Parliament would be elected by citizens (landowners) Banned cruel and unusual punishment
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Systems of Law Statutory Law: A system of law written and created by a legislature. Common Law System: A system of law which is developed by courts’ decisions in order to create a common interpretation and application. Courts decisions become the basis for law. Roe v. Wade (1973) State statutes were ruled against the law by this case. Laws are applied commonly to everyone across the nation.
Americas Discovered: The establishment of the English Colonies Colony: a group of people in one place who are citizens of a parent country elsewhere. A region controlled by a distant country. Citizens of England = Accustomed to English rights, law, and form of government. Two main reasons for leaving?
Two Types of Colonies- Jamestown, Virginia What is the problem with leaving your country (government) and going to a new, relatively uninhabited land? Jamestown and the House of Burgesses Founded by the Virginia Company with charter from King James 1. charter: contract or grant giving those who receive the charter limited, but specific power. Government = governor appointed by the king colonists chose two representatives (burgesses) from each county (22 Burgesses total). Marked the beginning of self-government. What type of government?
Plymouth Pilgrims: traveler on a holy journey. Mayflower Compact (contract) among the colonists. Wrote it while on their ship, the Mayflower. All males would meet in an assembly, vote, and majority rule. What type of government did they create?
British Colonies Each new colony followed one of the two examples of self- government. Since the governments could not rival the monarch, they were then established under the principles of democracy (republicanism and the rule of law). Each colony had a governor appointed by the king. The Magna Carta had promised all rights and liberties to all subjects of the kingdom => Colonists were still citizens. Colonists had a system of self-government to meet needs: Schools, hospitals, laws and courts, businesses and economy. Britain was preoccupied with Europe and left the colonists to themselves.
A New Nation? What were the main causes which led to the American Revolution? Two main causes: Economics Political philosophy (belief systems)
1. Economics Mid-1700’s- The Creation of mercantilism What was the form of wealth? Why is wealth finite? Mercantilism: a country exports more than they import. Why? Colonial economy? Britain’s economy? The application of mercantilism between the Colonies and Britain.
French and Indian War (Seven Years War) => Taxes Why did the war lead to taxes? The Sugar Act (1764) The Stamp Act (1765)- attach expensive stamps (physical) to all legal documents (contracts and licenses), newspapers, magazines, playing cards and other documents. It was repealed (cancelled) due to colonial boycott of English goods. (The Sons of Liberty) Townshend Act (1767)- Taxed goods which are imported to the colonies (paper, glass, tea, lead). The Tea Act (1773)- Gave British East India Company a monopoly on tea in the colonies by removing colonial merchants as distributers. Consequence?
Boston Massacre (1770)
Tar and Feathering
Coercive Acts/ Intolerable Acts (1773) Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) (1773)- restricted rights of trial-by-jury, allowed quartering, and closed Boston Harbor. Reaction to Boston Tea Party Continental Congress (First): 1774 All colonies (except Georgia) established a political body with delegates (representatives) to present a solution to resolve the relationship between the Colonies and Britain. List of Grievances to the king/parliament The Declaration and Resolves: repeal of Intolerable Acts, an end of British occupation, and power of colonies to impose their own tax laws. The Olive Branch Petition: Pledged continued loyalty Response: King sends troops and declared a full state of rebellion.
2. Philosophy Taxes = Problem : Why? What was the Colonists relationship to their government? “No scuttage (taxes)…shall be imposed…unless by common counsel.” – Magna Carta Many of the taxes were only applied to Colonists and not to the rest of Britain. What is the philosophical problem between Britain and the colonies?
New Political Philosophy- John Locke British-Enlightenment Thinker Wrote Second Treatise of Government (1690) Government is “derived from the consent of the governed.” Those within the state of nature gave themselves to part of this society or “political body” whereby the majority has a right to act and decide for the society as a whole. Society is meant to protect “life, liberty, and property.”
Social Contract An agreement by the citizenry to give up certain natural rights that exist in the state of nature in order to receive social order and protection from the legitimate authority. Since the government’s authority stems from the citizenry, if the government breaks the contract, the contract becomes void. If this occurs, the citizens must dissolve that government and replace it.
Assignment The Issue of Representation: Actual and Virtual Directions: Read the article, The Issue of Representation: Actual and Virtual. Answer the questions that accompany the reading. Due next class. How does this article help explain the philosophical argument for the American Revolution?
Lexington and Concord (1775)
What do those battles mean? Revolution for Independence or create change to British government? Common Sense- Thomas Paine (1776) Pamphlet written for general distribution to colonists Written in common language and for every colonist to read. Four Parts: What is the origin of the British Government? Monarchical Succession: How can a monarch be dangerous? Present state of American Affairs: call for American or Continental Charter. Ability of America’s military potential “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.”
“Common Sense” An island that rules a continent. British parliament makes decisions which benefit Britain. Colonial self-government makes decisions for the colonists. More and more colonists have never been to Britain. Distance has made representation in Parliament impossible. Britain may not be colonist’s legitimate authority.
Second Continental Congress Vote for independence (Richard Henry Lee-Virginia) Announcement of Independence: Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson) Approved Independence on July 2 nd “The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” - John Adams The Declaration was approved and signed on July 4 th (date is debated by historians). What was the Declaration announcing?
Early State Constitutions State: a nation or organized political community under one government. Allegiance was with the colony (“state”). As colonies broke away, they created a new government in their colony (May 1776 Resolution calling for states to draft constitutions). New Hampshire- January 1776 (first) Constitution: written plan for government Common Themes: Bicameral legislature: a lawmaking body which is divided into two parts or “houses”. Each state had a governor to enforce the laws. Each state had a systems of courts Most had a bill of rights which guaranteed specific rights.
Problem? What is the problem with 13 different states (countries) fighting Britain? What do you need to fight a war? What is the political conflict which will quickly arise? What is the solution?
Articles of Confederation Confederation: a group of individual nations who unite under a common purpose. “A firm league of friendship.” The first American National Constitution Created in 1777 and ratified in Powers and Structure: One Branch: A legislature with each state getting one vote. Legislature: could declare war/make peace/appoint officers, but can’t maintain army. could conduct foreign relations. could settle disputes between states. could coin and borrow money Establish a postal system Admit new states Articles are perpetual and can only be altered with approval of an unanimous vote in legislature.
Problems with Articles Legislate: Difficult Process 9 of 13 states to create confederate law Unanimous to alter the Articles No Separation of Powers (no president or national court system) Taxes: Indirect tax States were not required to raise taxes for the confederacy and confederacy could not tax directly. No power to regulate trade or currency (states still made their own currencies) Army: No Ensured Defense States were not required to provide troops to the central government
Biggest Problem-Sovereignty Power: “Each state retain its sovereignty, freedom, and independence.” States do not have to obey legislature => Congress had no real power Sovereignty: the right to supreme (highest) authority in a territory or state (nation). No nation = 13 separate nations
Consequences Could not collect taxes => couldn’t pay back international debt to France - Hurt trade (none with France or Britain) Could not control interstate trade => states taxed one another - Created economic competition and limited trade Shay’s Rebellion: due to the poor economy, citizens of Massachusetts formed an uprising to remove the government. - Fear of citizen unrest, instability, and the inability to provide order and security.
Solution Meeting at Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon => called for a meeting in Annapolis to discuss trade concerns between states and other nations. Meeting was then called for Philadelphia to try to remedy the defects of the Articles of Confederation. What emerged was more than just amendments and simple revision of the Articles, but a whole new document…a new government that had never existed before.