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Origins of American Government The Roots of American Democracy

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1 Origins of American Government The Roots of American Democracy
Chapter 2 Section 1

2 The Roots of American Democracy
Main Idea American democracy was shaped by our English political heritage, colonial experiments in self-government, and a range of intellectual influences. Reading Focus Which American political ideas derived from an English political heritage? How did colonial governments give English colonists experience in self-rule? What intellectual influences shaped the development of American political philosophy?

3 English Political Heritage
Colonial government would never be an exact copy of the British system. Colonial leaders adapted old ideas, based on English traditions, to a new environment. Representative Government Tradition began in 11th century. Evolved into bicameral, or two-chamber, legislature Nobles comprised Upper House. Local representatives participated in House of Commons. Limited Government Began in 1215 when King John signed Magna Carta Moved from rule of man to rule of law Outlined individual rights which king could not violate Included taxation and trial provisions

4 English Political Heritage {continued}
Individual Rights 1628: King Charles required to sign Petition of Right Required monarchs to obtain Parliamentary approval before levying new taxes, also could not unlawfully imprison people or establish military rule during times of peace Extended conflict between Charles and Parliament erupted into civil war in 1642. Charles defeated, beheaded 1685: renewed conflicts and rebellion between the Crown and Parliament 1689: William and Mary chosen to rule, but had to govern according to statutes of Parliament 1689: English Bill of Rights passed Free speech and protection from cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed Glorious Revolution established constitutional monarchy.




8 The English Colonies English colonists began to settle parts of North America in the early 1600s, bringing English political theories and methods of governance. Experiments in Early Governance Virginia was the first colony, founded in 1607 Jamestown’s House of Burgesses, 1619 Mayflower Compact, 1620 Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639 Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641 Each charter guaranteed colonists the “rights of Englishmen.” PA granted to William Penn, 1681 Georgia final colony, 1733 Types of English Colonies Three types established Proprietary, based on land grant to individual or group Royal colonies, directly controlled by king through appointed governor Charter colonies, operated under charters agreed to by colony and king; had most independence from the Crown


10 Intellectual Influences
In addition to English traditions, ideas were key to transforming loyal English colonists first into revolutionaries and then into founders of a new nation. Republicanism Idea of representative government going back to Greece and Rome Highly values citizen participation, public good, civic virtue Influences included Aristotle, Machiavelli, de Montesquieu, others Judeo-Christian Influences Religious heritage common to both Christianity and Judaism Law and individual rights of divine origin

11 Intellectual Influences
Enlightenment Thinkers Enlightenment—Intellectual movement in 18th century Europe Classical liberal concerns addressed in Enlightenment Framers of U.S. Constitution believed in people’s natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Social contract—People form a government to protect their rights Philosophers John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau important contributors Economic and civil liberties important as well Other influences included Adam Smith, Voltaire, William Blackstone.

12 Vocabulary Bicameral two-chamber Magna Carta
an English document signed by King John in 1215 that instituted that “rule of law” and protected certain individual rights Petition of Right an English document signed by King Charles in 1628 that required monarchs to obtain Parliament’s approval before levying new taxes and said that monarchs could not unlawfully imprison people, force citizens to house soldiers, or establish military rule during times of peace English Bill of Rights an English document passed by Parliament in 1689 that limited monarchs’ power to enact laws, raise taxes, or keep an army without Parliament’s consent; guaranteed Parliament the privilege of free speech; and gave all people protection from cruel and unusual punishment Fundamental Orders of Connecticut a 1639 set of laws that limited the power of the government and gave all free men the right to choose the people to serve as judges Proprietary Colony a colony based on a grant of land by the English monarch to a proprietor Royal Colonies colonies directly controlled by the king through an appointed governor Charter Colonies colonies operated under charters agreed to by the colony and the king

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