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Historical Roots of American Government

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Roots of American Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Roots of American Government
Chapter 2 Historical Roots of American Government

2 Basic Concepts of Government
Name some basic human rights and freedoms. Where did you get your ideas? We are going to discuss where Americans got their ideas about people’s political rights and freedoms.

3 3 Characteristics of Government
1. Ordered Gov. Colonist knew orderly regulation was needed; as in England, they created local governments 2. Limited Gov. Government should not be all powerful and has limits to what it can do; individuals have guaranteed rights 3. Representative Gov. Government should serve the will of the people; should represent the people’s best interests; people need a voice (elect representatives)

4 Leading Up to the Declaration
The Magna Carta (1215) The basic notions of ordered government, of limited government, and of representative government can be traced to several landmark document in English history: The Magna Carta, The Petition of Right and The Bill of Rights. .


6 Leading Up to the Declaration
The Magna Carta (1215) First document to ever limit the power of a king Guaranteed some rights of citizens – king could not punish someone without jury trial The Magna Carta included fundamental rights such as trial by jury and due process of law—protection against the arbitrary taking of life, liberty, or property. The next significant document was the English Bill of Rights which prohibited a standing army in peacetime, except with the consent of Parliament, and required elections be fee. It also included such guarantees as the right to a fair trial, and freedom from excessive bail and from cruel and unusual punishment.

7 Petition of Right Limits the king’s power
King could no longer imprison or punish any person but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land king could not require homeowners to shelter the troops king must also obey law of the land

8 The English Bill of Rights
Prohibited a standing army in peacetime required elections be free taxing without government permission is not allowed guarantees the right to a fair trial freedom from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment

9 The English Colonies The 13 colonies were established on the basis of a charter (a written grant of authority from the king) 1. Royal Colonies – under direct control of the Crown. Laws passed through the Crown 2. Proprietary Colonies - these colonies were organized by a proprietor (person who the king gave the land). Laws passed through the Crown 3. The Charter Colonies – self-governing (if other colonies were set up this way, the Revolution might never have occurred)

10 Leading Up to the Declaration
John Locke’s 2nd Treatise on Government Natural Rights – men had rights given to them by God before governments were ever created. John Locke

11 Leading Up to the Declaration
Man’s natural rights are: LIFE LIBERTY PROPERTY Government’s purpose is to protect these, not take them away! John Locke

12 Britain Messes with the Colonies
The Stamp Act 1765 Required every published piece of paper to receive a British stamp of approval, and pay a tax with it True intention was likely to stop colonists from publishing essays and newspapers critical of Britain’s government Ch 2 section 2

13 Colonial Unity Stamp Act Congress (1765)
9 colonies joined together to protest England’s Stamp Act, and England repealed it

14 Colonial Unity First Continental Congress (1774)
Trying to repair relationship with Britain even after new law were in effect (we called them Intolerable Acts) Sent a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances” to the king, boycotted trade with England These actions marked the first time a significant number of the colonies had jointed to oppose the British government. Parliament repealed the stamp act but frictions mounted. New laws were passed and more anger and violence erupted. The Boston Massacre occurred because of a boycott of English goods. Protests multiplied and the famous Boston Tea Party took place.

15 Colonial Unity Second Continental Congress (1775-1781)
Trying to defeat Britain Convened in the middle of the Revolutionary War Our nation’s first national government

16 Colonial Unity Second Continental Congress (1775)
Elected George Washington Commander-in-Chief of the Army Second Continental Congress was in effect from Declaration of Independence 1776 to Article of Confederation 1781

17 The Declaration of Independence
July 4th, 1776 by Thomas Jefferson

18 Jefferson Explains the Trouble With Writing This Thing:

19 Fundamentals of the Declaration
Men have inalienable natural rights Governments exist by the consent of the governed Abusive governments can be replaced

20 State Constitutions Many states adopted written constitutions – bodies of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures, and processes of their government. Common features include: popular sovereignty limited government civil rights and liberties separation of powers and checks and balances

21 Our First Government The Articles of Confederation
A huge mistake, but a good learning experience

22 The Articles of Confederation

23 The Articles of Confederation
Was not a strong national government Rather, it was a “firm league of friendship” between 13 independent states

24 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation (pg. 45)
National Government could not: Collect Taxes Regulate Trade Between States Create a Court System Use Troops Without Permission from the States

25 Problems with the Articles
As a result: States never sent the government any money States boycotted each other’s goods and currency States made trade agreements with foreign countries

26 Features of the Articles Government
Legislative Branch (Congress) Unicameral (One House) States could send as many or as few Reps. as they wanted Each state gets 1 vote regardless of number of Reps. Any change to the Articles required approval of all 13 states

27 Features of the Articles Government
Executive Branch No national executive branch All executive and judicial powers were given to the states

28 Problems Lead to the Need for a Change:

29 The Constitutional Convention
May 25th to September 17th, 1787

30 The Constitutional Convention
Original purpose was to slightly edit the Articles of Confederation What ended up happening was a secret meeting where the Founding Fathers created a brand new government


32 The Framers Who were the Framers (Writers)?
A gathering of 55 of the most brilliant minds in history? Most were in their 30’s and 40’s All upper class, well educated, white males Middle and lower classes, women and racial minorities were not given the opportunity to participate Most famous names : George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton

33 The Framers: Demi-Gods?
The Framers are really just men – or “politicians,” even They are fighting with one another on every issue, and forming compromises to resolve the fights

34 Mack Daddy James Madison
The Framers James Madison becomes known as the “Father of the Constitution,” as he became the leader of the convention, and did much of the writing Mack Daddy James Madison

35 Two Competing Ideas The Virginia Plan The “Big State Plan”
3 Branches – Legislative, Executive, Judicial, each with checks and balances against the others Bicameral legislature with representation based on population alone

36 Two Competing Ideas The New Jersey Plan The “Small State Plan”
Unicameral legislature with all states represented equally Executive would be three presidents, who chose the Judicial branch

37 Compromises The Connecticut Compromise “The Great Compromise”
Bicameral legislature, one house based on population, one on equality

38 How the Great Compromise Works
State Population # in House # in Senate California 35 million 53 2 Arizona 5 million 8 Wyoming 0.5 million 1

39 Compromises The 3/5ths Compromise
Southern states wanted to count slaves as part of their populations to get more votes in Congress Compromise allowed them to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person in the census *Note* - slaves did NOT get 3/5ths of a vote!

40 Compromises The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
Southern states feared that slavery would be banned by more heavily populated Northern states in Congress Compromise prevented Congress from acting on the matter of slave trade for at least 20 years

41 Sources of the Constitution
Framers pulled from a number of places to get the final product: Ancient Greece’s Democracy and Rome’s Republic John Locke’s 2nd Treatise on Government Charles de Montesquieu’s ideas about separating the powers of government Great Britain’s government

42 Bicameral Legislature (House and Senate)
New Constitution Bicameral Legislature (House and Senate) Strong Executive (President) Supreme Court System Federal Government British Government Bicameral Legislature (House of Lords and Commons) Strong Executive (King) Royal Court System Federal Relationship w/ Colonies Articles of Confederation Unicameral Legislature No Executive No Court System Confederation of States

43 Ratifying the Constitution
Ratify – vote on and pass Constitution required that 9 of the 13 states needed to approve it to take effect Did someone say “Rat”ify?

44 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
Federalists – favored ratification of the Constitution and a new federal government Anti-Federalists - opposed the new Constitution on almost all grounds Especially wanted to add a bill of rights

45 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
Famous Federalists: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, George Washington Madison, Hamilton, and Jay write The Federalist Papers – persuasive essays to explain why the new Constitution can be effective and preserve personal liberty

46 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
Famous Anti-Federalists: Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams, John Hancock

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