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The Roots of American Government

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1 The Roots of American Government

2 I. Government in the Colonies
A. Traditions of English Government 1. Magna Carta 2. Parliament B. Self-Rule in America C. Dominion of New England Established D. Glorious Revolution 1. English Bill of Rights 2. Salutary neglect II. England’s Economic Relationship With the Colonies A. Mercantilism Drives the British Economy B. Navigation Acts Regulate Trade C. Consumer Revolution D. Triangular Trade Route III. New Ideas Affect the American Colonies A. Enlightenment B. Great Awakening C. Impact 1. Formation of new churches 2. Rise in democratic beliefs

3 Objectives Explore how English traditions influenced the development of colonial governments. Analyze the economic relationship between England and its colonies. Describe the influence of the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening on the 13 colonies.

4 Terms and People Magna Carta – 1215 document that limited the king’s ability to tax English nobles and that guaranteed due process and a right to trial Parliament – English lawmaking body English Bill of Rights – 1689 document guaranteeing a number of freedoms habeas corpus – idea that no one could be held in prison without being charged with a specific crime salutary neglect – a policy in which England allowed its colonies self-rule

5 Terms and People (continued)
mercantilism – economic policy under which a nation accumulates wealth by exporting more goods than it imports Navigation Acts – a series of trade laws enacted by Parliament in the mid-1600s Enlightenment – European intellectual movement during the 1600s and 1700s Benjamin Franklin – American colonist inspired by the Enlightenment, he was a printer, author, scientist, and inventor

6 Terms and People (continued)
Great Awakening – a religious movement that occurred in the colonies in the mid-1700s

7 Much of America’s political heritage and traditions come from England.
When English colonists settled in British North America, they brought with them a sense of their rights as Englishmen.

8 The English had a long governmental tradition.
Magna Carta Parliament Glorious Revolution In 1215, English nobles made King John accept a limitation to his taxation and guaranteed the right to a trial. A two-house legislature composed of the House of Lords, an inherited position, and the House of Commons, elected by men with property. The English overthrew King James and installed William and Mary, who granted the English Bill of Rights.

9 Magna Carta

10 King John puts his mark to Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215

11 Magna Carta “The Great Charter” 1215
King John was forced to agree to certain demands from nobles Established principle that everyone, including the king, was subject to the rule of law Provided free men with the right to a fair trial


13 Magna Carta marks 800th anniversary

14 Parlament

15 Parliament Over centuries, the idea evolved that Parliament represented the entire nation of England Since the 17th century, Parliament has played a central role in shaping the development of Britain and in defining the rights and responsibilities of British citizens. (

16 English colonists claimed the same rights as those in England
Because the government of England was far away, however, the colonies had a great deal of freedom in how they structured their governments Some (as in New England) established republics with elected governors Others had royal governors, but also elected representatives in colonial legislatures

17 Dominion of New England
1685 King James II revoked the charters in New England and combined those colonies with New York and New Jersey into the Dominion of New England Royal governor- Sir Edmond Andros After the Glorious Revolution, the colonists rebelled and arrested Andros

18 William and Mary, the new monarchs, made Massachusetts a royal colony with an elected assembly
Maryland became a royal colony Rhode Island and Connecticut were permitted to keep their old charters New York- Jacob Liesler, who had led a rebellion there, was executed

19 Glorious Revolution 1688-1689 King James II was overthrown
His daughter Mary and her husband, William III, prince of Orange assumed the throne Bloodless revolution

20 William and Mary

21 English Bill of Rights

22 English Bill of Rights The right to a writ of habeas corpus (someone cannot be held in prison without being tried for a crime) Monarch could not keep a standing army in time of peace without Parliament’s approval No excessive bail or fines and no cruel and unusual punishment

23 Zenger Trial 1734 John Peter Zenger, a newspaper publisher, was arrested for libel- printing falsehoods that are intended to damage a person’s reputation. His newspaper had printed articles criticizing the governor The jury found Zenger not guilty (what he had published was true)

24 Significance This was an important first step towards freedom of the press. Legally, it still did not exist, though

25 Colonists were English subjects and self-ruling.
The colonists believed that the English Bill of Rights applied to them, even though they lived in the colonies. At the same time, the colonies enjoyed a long period of self- government and individual liberties.

26 Salutary Neglect England allowed its colonies local self-rule (until the mid-18th century)

27 Mercantilism Based upon the belief that a nation could build wealth and power by developing its industries and exporting manufactured goods in exchange for gold and silver. Colonies existed for the benefit of the mother country.

28 English mercantilism meant the colonies exported raw materials only to England.
In exchange, the colonies bought manufactured goods from England. The cloth for this dress was produced in England

29 The English Parliament passed trade laws called the Navigation Acts.
The laws successfully regulated colonial trade to create great wealth and power for England in the 1600s. England collected custom duties- taxes on imported goods

30 Consumer Revolution Transatlantic commerce expanded
Cheaper goods increasingly entered the colonies colonial imports per person increased by 50% 1700- American colonies consumed about 10 percent of British exports. By 1772 it rose to 37%

31 Significance British and colonists felt increasing pride in the empire
Colonies increased in importance to Britain Colonists suffered a trade imbalance- they imported more than they exported resulting in a shortage of cash.

32 The new ideas of the Enlightenment in the 1600s and 1700s influenced Americans.
Exposed colonists to new ways of thinking such as scientific reasoning and applying natural laws to government. People believed that human reason could solve issues. Colonial leader Benjamin Franklin was greatly inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment.

33 Enlightenment Thinkers
1600s and 1700s European intellectual movement Enlightenment thinkers believed that human problems could be solved by using reason


35 Hobbes Life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"

36 John Locke 17th century political theorist
Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690 Social contract theory People have a right to life, liberty and property Governments are formed for the purpose of protecting these natural rights Property can be interpreted in different ways. One way is property as the product of one’s labor.

37 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
On the Social Contract


39 In the colonies, the development of democracy was influenced by:
the English parliamentary tradition. the colonies having a long period of self- rule. the new ideas of the European Enlightenment. the Judeo-Christian religious influence on colonial people.

40 Religion played an important part in colonial life:
Many colonists had immigrated for religious reasons. Churches played a social role in colonial life. Churches served as public places for reading government proclamations, holding elections, and posting new laws.

41 George Whitefield was a popular preacher in the colonies who helped launch a new religious movement called the Great Awakening. Preachers traveled through the colonies and preached powerful, emotion-packed sermons. Many people left their old established churches, joined the movement, and started new churches.

42 Religion By the early eighteenth century, the established New England Congregational Church was losing religious fervor. The Great Awakening, sparked by fiery preachers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, spread a new style of emotional worship that revived religious zeal.


44 Great Awakening Periods of religious revival (renewed enthusiasm)
Ideas came from Europe and spread in the colonies Stressed the individual’s relationship with God. Undermined legally established churches and authority Led to formation of new churches Great Awakening crossed colonial borders from Georgia to Massachusetts Print helped spread the religious messages Social and religious tensions Increasing diversity of religions and democratization

45 1730s- Jonathan Edwards encouraged a religious revival in New England
George Whitefield- English minister Attracted huge crowds from Georgia to Massachusetts New Lights were those who followed his message that they must seek salvation

46 The Great Awakening gave rise to a changed political awareness.
Participants in the Great Awakening came to realize that if they can select their own religion, they can also select their own government.

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