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2.2 “The First Government”

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1 2.2 “The First Government”

2 American Ideas vs. British Control
For almost 100 years, American colonial governments enjoyed relative “self -government” from Britain. In 1760, King George III takes the throne and demands more control over America

3 King George III (1760 – 1820)

4 “Mercantilism” King George wanted to adopt the idea of “mercantilism” in Great Britain. “Mercantilism” states a country should sell more goods to other countries than it buys.

5 “Mercantilism” Britain needed to get as much wealth out of the American colonies as possible. America would be a source of cheap, raw materials and revenue (via taxes).

6 “French & Indian War”

7 “French & Indian War” The “French & Indian War” ( ) made things worse. The war was extremely expensive for the British government, leading to increased taxes in America.

8 “Stamp Act” (1765)

9 “Stamp Act” (1765) The first significant tax was the “Stamp Act” of 1765. This act required expensive tax stamps on all newspapers and legal documents

10 “No Taxation Without Representation”

11 “No Taxation Without Representation”
                            American colonists resented these new taxes by the British. Since they had no representation in the British Parliament, they felt they should not have to pay taxes.

12 American Boycotts

13 American Boycotts In protest, many Americans began to “boycott” or refuse to buy British goods. As a result, the British government “repealed” or cancelled the act.

14 “Townshend Acts” (1767)

15 “Townshend Acts” (1767) The new “Townshend Act” of 1767 replaced other British taxes. This act allowed taxes to be levied on basic goods imported to the colonies from Great Britain (glass, tea, paper, etc.)

16 “Tea Act” (1773) The “Tea Act” followed, allowing the British East India Company to bypass colonial government tax requirements. It lower taxes on tea which made merchants have to buy British tea over others American merchants were outraged.

17 “Boston Tea Party”

18 “Coercive” (“Intolerable”) Acts
To respond to the “Boston Tea Party”, the British Parliament instituted the “Coercive Acts”. Called the “Intolerable Acts” by America, they restricted colonial rights.

19 First Continental Congress (1774)

20 First Continental Congress (1774)
In 1774, 12 of the 13 American colonies sent “delegates” or representatives to Philadelphia to express their concerns with Britain’s new taxes. This meeting was called the First Continental Congress.

21 First Continental Congress (1774)
Congress sent a letter called the Olive Branch Petition to King George demanding the rights of the colonists be restored. All agreed to meet again within a year if the king did not agree.

22 King George’s Response
In April 1775, the battle of Lexington and Concord begin the American Revolutionary War.

23 Second Continental Congress (1775)

24 Second Continental Congress (1775)
During the second meeting, delegates argued over the best solution. Some delegates wanted independence while others wanted to remain loyal. Many did NOT want independence, fearing they could not win a war with Britain.

25 Thomas Paine & “Common Sense” (1776)

26 Thomas Paine & “Common Sense”
Paine argued in 1776 that is was only “common sense” for America to break with Great Britain. King George was a “royal brute” and America had every right to sever ties.

27 Second Continental Congress (1776)
After many months of debate, more than half of the delegates agreed to declare independence from Great Britain. The writings of Paine were very influential.

28 “Declaration of Independence”

29 “Declaration of Independence”
Independence – self reliance and freedom from outside control.

30 “Declaration of Independence”
Thomas Jefferson , the main author, detailed the colonies’ reasons for breaking away with Great Britain. Jefferson claimed that the king did not look after the interests of the colonies anymore. Listed all of the grievances, or complaints, that the colonists had towards the crown.

31 “Declaration of Independence”
Jefferson further added that “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation”.

32 “Declaration of Independence”
The document clearly expresses to the world that purpose of government is to protect human rights, basic rights that are entitled to all human beings.

33 “Declaration of Independence”
Thomas Jefferson was likely influenced by the publications of John Locke Locke believed in: “natural rights” that because we are human we are guarantee by the Heavens…life, liberty and property. “social contract” – that people have a contract with their government and the gov’t should protect it’s people. Montesquieu Separation of Powers – each branch of government is responsible for specific powers.

34 “Declaration of Independence”
In order to break away from Britain and protect the rights of the people… The Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration on July 4, 1776 and we celebrate that as the Birthday of our nation.

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