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Roots of American Democracy

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Presentation on theme: "Roots of American Democracy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Roots of American Democracy
Section 2

2 The Rights of Englishmen
Throughout the colonies, free Americans enjoyed the rights and liberties of English subjects. English freedoms were envied throughout the world.

3 The Rights of Englishmen
The shared belief in certain legal and political principles helped tie the colonies together.

4 Justice and Self-Government
English rights had been developing for centuries. 1215 – English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta stated that the king was not above the law.

5 Justice and Self-Government
The Magna Carta guaranteed English political and civil liberties. It limited the king’s authority. Property could not be taken away by the king. The people could not be taxed without consent. It guaranteed trial by peers.

6 Justice and Self-Government
“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, exiled…nor will we proceed…against him…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.” - Magna Carta

7 Justice and Self-Government
At first, the Magna Carta only applied to nobles. Over time, these rights extended to commoners. It led to the right of the people to elect a governing body.

8 Parliament and Colonial Government
Parliament, England’s lawmaking body, was the colonists’ model for representative government.

9 Parliament and Colonial Government
Parliament had two houses. the House of Commoners were elected. the House of Lords were non- elected nobles, judges, and clergy.

10 Parliament and Colonial Government
Since the king and Parliament were so far away, some self- government was allowed in the colonies. An example of self government was the House of Burgesses in Virginia.

11 Parliament and Colonial Government
There was an awkward relationship between the colonial assemblies and Parliament. Parliament had ultimate authority and the colonists did not like many of the English laws.

12 Kings Limit Self-Government
In the mid-1600’s Massachusetts and other colonies were ignoring the Navigation Acts. In response, King Charles II canceled their rights to self- government.

13 Kings Limit Self-Government

14 Kings Limit Self-Government
King James II combined all the New England colonies into one governing body ruled by governor Edmund Andros. Edmund Andros ended representative assemblies. The colonists were angered and sent a petition to England.

15 William and Mary Restore English Rights
King James II angered the colonists and the people of England. He punished a Protestant rebellion and dismissed Parliament.

16 William and Mary Restore English Rights
Parliament offered the English throne to James’s daughter, Mary, and her husband, William. James II fled the country in 1688. This was known as the Glorious Revolution.

17 William and Mary Restore English Rights
William and Mary agreed to uphold the English Bill of Rights. The English Bill of Rights were a list of specific rights for the people and Parliament.

18 William and Mary Restore English Rights
The king could not cancel laws or impose taxes unless Parliament agreed. Free elections and frequent meetings of Parliament were to be held. Excessive fines and cruel punishments were forbidden. People had the right to complain to the king or queen in Parliament without being arrested. The government was to be based on laws made by Parliament, not on the desires of a ruler.

19 Colonists Claim English Rights
After the Glorious Revolution, the colonists claimed the new English rights. They jailed Governor Andros.

20 Colonists Claim English Rights
The colonies regained the rights to elect representative assemblies, but were forced to accept a governor appointed by the king.

21 Colonists Claim English Rights
The new freedoms were welcomed in the colonies. The Colonies and the English government had a good relationship throughout the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.

22 Zenger and Freedom of the Press
In 1735, John Peter Zenger stood trial for printing criticism on New York's’ governor. At the time, it was illegal to criticize the king in print. Some argued that an attack on the governor was the same as an attack on the king.

23 Zenger and Freedom of the Press
The jury found Zenger innocent on the grounds that people have the right to speak the truth. Freedom of the press became an important right in America.

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