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LESSON FOUR The British Origins of American Constitutionalism.

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1 LESSON FOUR The British Origins of American Constitutionalism

2 HOW DID ENGLISH GOVERNMENT BEGIN?  England was ruled by many tribes led by local Kings  Eventually, tribes were united under one king  The day to day life of the average person did not change  King William (from France) conquered England. He introduced feudalism but adopted and adapted many of the English practices  The King relied on local advisors to incorporate local traditions and practices. These advisors morphed into what became the PARLIAMENT

3 HOW DID PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT BEGIN IN ENGLAND?  Parliament grew from the counsel of local advisors  1295 –The 1 st Modern Parliament was formed with two houses …House of Lords – representing the feudal nobles and church officials …House of Commons – composed of 2 knights from each shire, 2 citizens from each city and 2 citizens from each town (with wealth and status) …It became an effective way for the King to collect money and way to negotiate with the various regions of the kingdom …It also became and effective way for English subjects to voice their grievances and to try to limit monarchical power

4 ENGLISH COMMON LAW  When William the Conqueror became King, there were different systems of law in England  In an effort to decrease the confusion for the Royal Judges, a system of “COMMON LAW” was instituted and applied by the Judges …Judges had to publish their rulings for other judges to use as a guideline. These were called “PRECEDENTS”. …Stare Decisis - when judges used past decisions to guide their rulings. This created a sense of predictability and stability in the law

5 “RIGHTS OF ENGLISHMEN” DEVELOPS Over the years, British Monarchs and Royal Judges came to recognize that subjects had certain personal rights:  The Right to Trial by a Jury of One’s Peers Under the Law of the Land  Security in One’s Home From Unlawful Entry  Limits on Government’s Power to Tax 1100 – King Henry I – issued a “Charter of Liberties” which bound him to obey certain laws regarding the treatment of nobles and clergy 1215 – Magna Carta – King John forced to sign the “Great Charter”. This charter confirmed laws and extended them to merchants:

6 MAGNA CARTA  Rule of Law: …The Monarch must respect established RULE OF LAW …Every member of society, even rulers, must obey the law …Government could not take action against the governed unless they follow established law  Basic Rights: …Redress of Grievances, or compensation for loss or wrong done to them  Government by Agreement or Compact: …The MAGNA CARTA was between the King and a limited number of citizens. It DID NOT include the majority of the English people Magna Carta: seeds of later important constitutional rights

7 THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION  Not a single document: Common Law, Acts of Parliament, Political Customs and Traditions  The central principle is respect for established rules and procedures “The Rule of Law”  3 Important Documents (all a struggle for power between Parliament and the King) …Magna Carta (1215) …Petition of Rights (1628) …King Charles needed money for wars, without support of Parliament …Parliament forced King to agree to the Petition of Rights …No taxes w/o Parliament’s consent, Citizen’s rights (quartering troops, habeas corpus) …Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 – cannot hold someone in prison without cause …English Bill of Rights (1689) …Limits on King’s power (limit on King’s power to tax; protection of free speech and debate) …2 Important Principles: Rule of Law & Representative Government

8 ACTIVITY: P. 32  Get into 4 groups  As a group, read through the section you are assigned  Answer the questions as a group  Compare your answers with other group  Create a Presentation …Explain Key Points …Create a Visual (will be up during test so make them “READABLE”  Present your topic to the class …Explain your topic …Make sure you include all the information in the answers to your questions …Each person in your group should be part of the presentation

9 GROUPS Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4 (Habeas Corpus)(Habeas Corpus)(Trial by Jury)(Trial by Jury) NadiaKatrinaKeziahEmma Scott JordanNickJoseph NathanRyanMichaelRene DrewMontoyaAriGarrett PatriciaQuinnDanielleBrittney MikelKyleJacobTanner Habeas Corpus – p. 32 Trial by Jury – p. 33

10 GROUPS Group OneGroup TwoGroup ThreeGroup Four (HABEAS CORPUS)(TRIAL BY JURY)(HABEAS CORPUS)(TRIAL BY JURY) MichaelDavidJeffreyBrett MercedesKristiCatherineRosamaria MeghanAshleyAlexisTaylor AdamAlexMattJoel BridgettMariahAmandaKori Habeas Corpus – p. 32 Trial by Jury – p. 33

11 QUICK REVIEW OF PRESENTATIONS  Trial By Jury  Habeas Corpus

12 THE MAGNA CARTA & THE CONSTITUTION/WA ST CONSTITUTION Limited Government Basic Rights Rule of Law Government by Agreement/Consent

13 REVIEW QUESTIONS 1.What is the Magna Carta? How was it created? How did it contribute to the development of constitutional government? 2.One constitutional scholar called the writ of habeas corpus the “greatest guarantee of human freedom ever devised by man.” Why is this right so fundamental? 3.Among the key documents in the struggle for power between king and Parliament were the Petition of Rights, The Habeas Corpus Act and the English Bill of Rights. Explain how and why each contributed to the development of constitutional government in England. 4.How are the ideas in the Magna Carta, Petition of Rights, and English Bill of Rights related to the Natural Rights philosophy and Classical Republicanism 5.What rights and other principles of the US Constitution or Washington State’s constitution can you trace back to the MagnaCarta?


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