John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government - natural rights - purpose of government late 1600s – 1700s other people writing during the Enlightenment add to the discussion over rights and the role of government: Rousseau, Montesquieu, etc.
1760s – 1770s Keep British soldiers in N. America Expect colonists to “quarter” them (lodge and feed them, in their homes) Forbid movement west of Appalachians Raise taxes on everyday items and basic services: stamps on documents, molasses, paper, paint, cloth, tea, etc.
Taxation without representation! -Parliament and King George III are making life difficult for colonists. -Colonists are not represented in Parliament, but still are expected to abide by its laws. -Colonists should be able to petition the King, but he’s not listening to their pleas.
1760s – 1770s Tensions rise. Resentments grow. COLONISTS: - mount boycotts of British goods - make do with homespun, homemade - mock royal officials (tax collectors) - evade customs officers - throw tea overboard British soldiers/officials: - redouble presence on the ground, arrest troublemakers - pass new laws, impose fines Loyalists vs. Patriots
1774 - 75 -Intolerable Acts -Close Boston harbor -Replace Mass. elected officials with loyalists -Patriots organize Continental Congresses, petition King George -First military skirmishes occur
1776 January -- Thomas Paine’s Common Sense June -- Virginia declares its independence June -- Third Continental Congress appoints a committee to draft a joint declaration 2 July – committee presents draft to Continental Congress
July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence is signed and made public.
Steps to independence: -Declaration (1776) -War (1775 – 1781) -Treaty (1783) -Figuring out how to govern themselves as states/countries/a federation of states while protecting individuals’ rights (1776 – 1790)
Declaration of Independence IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
Declaration of Independence When in the Course of human events…
Declaration of Independence If a group of people wants to break off from a larger group, they should explain why they are doing it.
Declaration of Independence We hold these truths to be self-evident…
Declaration of Independence This is what we believe to be true: -All human beings are of equal worth. -All human beings are born with basic rights, simply because they are human: -They are entitled to live. -They are entitled to be free. -They are entitled to live in whatever way seems right to them, as long as they do not harm others.
Declaration of Independence We also think it is true that: -the purpose of government is to protect people’s natural rights -the only legitimate government is one that has been chosen/shaped by the people it rules over and that seeks to serve their interests
Declaration of Independence We think it’s obvious that: -if any government fails to protect the rights of its citizens, then the people are entitled to change or get rid of it, and to put into place a new government -- which will respect people’s rights -This is not something that is easy to do, but if the gov’t is not working right, citizens can and must work to change it.
Declaration of Independence This is the situation that the colonies in North America face: for many years, they have been subject to unfair government, by the current King who has repeatedly tried to take advantage of them and continues to disregard their rights. These are all of the terrible things he has done…
What we have tried to do -In relation to the King -In relation to other people in Britain who might care about us
Declaration of Independence We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity…
Declaration of Independence We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled… do…declare…
Declaration of Independence We who represent the united but independent countries that we are, through this document, we announce to the world that we are now independent countries, and that, as such, we can do the same things that any other country in the world is entitled to do (wage war, establish peace, work with other countries, trade, etc.).
Rights and representation 1215 Early 1600s (-1732) 1689 1776