Presentation on theme: "American Government Unit 1 THE UNITED STATES – THE BEGINNING."— Presentation transcript:
American Government Unit 1 THE UNITED STATES – THE BEGINNING
THE PATH TO INDEPENDENCE The people of England thought the colonists were crazy for leaving England to travel so far away to live in the wilderness! Due to these two factors, the colonists got used to basically running their own lives. This was their first trial run at the concept of federalism England was the central government and the colonies were the local governments All of this changed with the French and Indian War The war was expensive The British realized that the colonies were a huge profit-making opportunity AND that they should have to pay for the cost of the war
The British began taxing the colonies and they rebelled! Stamp Act 1765 Stamp Act Congress Stamp Act Repealed Tea Act 1773 Boston Tea Party Intolerable Acts 1773 First Continental Congress 1774 Declaration of Rights – epic fail! Lexington & Concord 1775 Second Continental Congress 1775… TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms July 6 1775 Written by Thomas Jefferson “By one statute [passed by Parliament] it is declared, that parliament can "of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever." What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single man of those who assume it, is chosen by us; or is subject to our controul or influence…” (Taxation without representation) “Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtably attainable.” (a threat, but not a declaration of separation from England just yet…) Signed by John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
Neither Parliament nor King George, however, were interested in negotiations to prevent all-out war. In August 1775, King George charged that the Americans "had proceeded to open and avowed rebellion." A few months later, Parliament passed a significant act that placed the American colonies outside the king's protection. Allowing the seizing of American ships burning of colonial towns sending war ships and troops, including foreign mercenaries, to put down the rebellion.
On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence They appointed a committee to draft a formal document The job of actually writing the draft fell to Thomas Jefferson Because John Adams and other committee members were busy trying to manage the rapidly escalating war with England. Jefferson didn’t have to look very far to find the base ideas for the Declaration… DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Natural Rights Philosophy & the Nature of Government John Locke EVERYONE is born with equality of certain rights. Since these rights come from nature or from God, natural rights cannot be justly taken away without consent The government is morally obliged to serve people by protecting life liberty Property
Second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence proves Locke’s influence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.