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The Birth of a Democratic Nation

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1 The Birth of a Democratic Nation
The United States of America

2 Life in the Colonies Colonists felt loyal to British because it was their parent country Colonists felt separated from Great Britain because they had operated by themselves for many years Colonists believed they could govern themselves because they had since the beginning of the colonies

3 British Events Mercantilism
Theory that a country should sell more than it buys British used to squeeze wealth out of colonies British Parliament wanted colonists to: Sell cheap raw materials to GB Buy expensive British finished goods (made from raw materials

4 British Events, continued
French & Indian War French & British fight for territory west of colonies Both sides ally with Indians British send troops to protect colonies Costs lots of money!

5 Results in Colonies Colonists are bitter toward GB

6 British Events Stamp Act/Quartering Act (1765)
To pay for the debt from French & Indian War, GB’s Parliament passes Quartering Act: law that says colonists must house British troops Stamp Act: law that requires a stamp to be bought and placed on all newspapers & legal documents

7 Results in Colonies American colonists begin to boycott, or refuse to buy, goods that are taxed “Sons of Liberty” formed Underground organization opposed to GB’s taxes Used violence & intimidation to force British collecting agents to resign & stop American loyalists from buying British goods

8 British Events Declaratory Act (1766)/Townshend Acts(1767)
After boycotts by the colonists, Parliament repeals Stamp Act Parliament passes Declaratory Act: Parliament has the right to make decisions for colonies in “all cases” Townshend Acts: taxes on basic goods such as tea, glass, paper, lead & paints

9 Results in Colonies Americans colonists continue to boycott goods taxed

10 British Events Boston Massacre (1770)
Mob harasses British soldiers stationed in Boston Shots are fired British kill 3, mortally wound 2 & injure 6 colonists

11 Results in Colonies Colonists continue to become more angry with Great Britain

12 British Events Tea Act (1773)
Allowed British East India Company to ship tea to colonies without paying taxes, which enabled them to bypass colonial merchants & sell directly to shopkeepers

13 Results in Colonies Boston Tea Party (1773)
Colonists blocked all East India Company trading ships from Boston harbor Colonists dress up as Indians & dump 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor to protest Tea Act

14 British Events Coercive Acts(1774)
Known as “Intolerable Acts” in colonies Restricted colonists’ rights, such as trial by jury Allowed British soldiers to search and even move into colonists’ homes (old Quartering Act had expired)

15 Results in Colonies First Continental Congress(1774)
Colonists want reconciliation (make peace with GB), not independence Sent document to King George III demanding he restore their rights

16 British Events Lexington/Concord (1775) “shot heard ‘round the world”
GB sends troops to take supplies from American militia First battles of the Revolutionary War

17 Results in Colonies Second Continental Congress(1775)
Colonists are still trying to decide between reconciliation & independence Many believe a war with GB cannot be won After Thomas Paine writes “Common Sense,” half the delegates agree that independence is the only way

18 “We have it in our power to begin the world anew…” Thomas Paine

19 The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson
Turn to pages 44 – 47 in your textbook. We – the colonists Truths – universal; not public opinion – and – absolute; not an opinion Self-evident – describes truth; reasonable people can figure this out

20 The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson
Created equal – all equal in some sense Unalienable rights – not reality, but potential of country Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness – building on traditional political thought From John Locke – government to secure these unalienable rights

21 The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson
Just Powers – legitimate powers Consent of the Governed – us Any Form – even democracy Ends – life, liberty, pursuit of happiness

22 The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson
Right of the People – justifying killing people, killing the government Institute new government – that will protect these rights How do you abolish? Takes force, violence. Country was forged in blood-shed.

23 Creating a Government By 1780 all of the 13 original states had created constitutions Most have BICAMERAL legislature (two houses) Massachusetts Constitution Oldest functioning constitution in the world Used as a model for the US Constitution

24 The “First Constitution”
Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA Articles of Confederation ( )

25 What were the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?
Limited power of Central Government Required 9/13 states to pass laws Could not enforce laws because states held more power Could not pay off war debt without power of taxation Why did the colonists create such a limiting document?

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