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Unit Documents “Guardians of Freedom” Fundamental Principles of American Democracy Rule of Law- All people including those who govern, are bound by the.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit Documents “Guardians of Freedom” Fundamental Principles of American Democracy Rule of Law- All people including those who govern, are bound by the."— Presentation transcript:


2 Unit Documents “Guardians of Freedom”

3 Fundamental Principles of American Democracy Rule of Law- All people including those who govern, are bound by the law. Limited Government- Government is not all powerful- it may do only those things that people have given it the power to do. Consent of the Governed- American citizens are the source of all government power. Individual Rights- In the American democracy, individual rights are protected by government. Representative Government - People elect leaders to make the laws and govern on their behalf ***In the United States, all citizens share in governing and being governed. This kind of government is called DEMOCRACY

4 DEMOCRACY More than 2,500 years old The people rule Direct Democracy - people vote first- hand Representative Democracy- citizens choose a smaller group to represent them- this is what we use. The United States is the oldest representative democracy in the world Abraham Lincoln, 16 th president, described our democracy as a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”

5 How it all began… The first Americans were ruled by a monarch- a king or queen ` By the late 1300’s a group of representatives formed a legislature(group of lawmakers) known as a parliament. The parliament eventually removed the King- this transfer of power is known as the “Glorious Revolution” from that time on no ruler has ever had more power than the legislature.

6 Bringing it home… 1600’s and 1700’s, England was busy establishing colonies in America. (colonies- a group of people in one place who are ruled by a parent country elsewhere) The Virginia Company, a group of merchants from London founded Jamestown with a charter from King James. (charter- a written document granting land and the authority to set up colonial governments) The Virginia Company’s charter promised the colonists “all liberties… as if they had been abiding and born within this our Realm of England”

7 House of Burgesses 1. Formed by the people 2. Two representatives from each county. 3. 22 men 4. The first representative assembly or legislature, in the English colonies 5. Marked the beginning of self- government

8 British Got Greedy… Due to high taxes, relations with Great Britain and colonists worsened. Stamp Act, Declaratory Act, Townshend Acts, The Tea Act, Coercive Act Colonists got fed up, 12 of the colonies sent delegates (representatives) to Philadelphia to discuss their concerns- this meeting is known as the First Continental Congress

9 People began wanting INDEPENDENCE The Second Continental Congress met in May 1775 and appointed a committee to write a document that would officially announce the independence of the United States. Thomas Jefferson did most of the work. - government must protect the people - Based on the consent of people - Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776.

10 John Locke Influenced Thomas Jefferson with his work of philosophy he published in 1690 in his Second Treatise of Government Good government is based on a social contract between the people and the rulers. Government must promise to protect the lives, property, and liberty of the people.

11 Articles of Confederation Created in 1777- by Congress- this would be the first Constitution of the United States of America. Headed by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania Set up a one- house legislature in which each state had one vote. Congress was the only government body to control over the army and authority to deal with foreign countries on behalf of the states.

12 Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation LACK OF POWER AND MONEY ** Congress had no power to collect taxes. ** Congress had no power to regulate trade. ** Congress had no power to enforce its laws. LACK OF CENTRAL POWER ** No single leader or group directed government policy. ** No national court system existed. RULES TOO RIGID ** Congress could not pass laws without the approval of 9 states. ** The Articles could not be changed without the agreement of all 12 states.

13 What to do now???? In your study guide complete the following: 1. Define “Terms to Know” Assembly, charter, minority, majority, statute, principles, representative, ratification, limited, legislature 2. Complete 2 of the web definition (you choose the words) 3. Complete 1 of the four square pages (you choose the word) 4. Complete the chart with the fundamental political principles.

14 The Preamble The introduction to the constitution. Tells why the constitution was written. Middle part states the six purposes. 1. To form a more perfect Union. 2. To establish Justice. 3. To insure domestic Tranquility. 4. To provide for the common defense. 5. To promote general Welfare 6. To secure the Blessings of our Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

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