Origins of the American Government 1

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					       UNIT 3
ORIGINS OF AMERICAN
   GOVERNMENT
OUR POLITICAL
 BEGINNINGS
BASIC CONCEPTS OF GOVERNMENT
 Ordered Government – English colonists saw the need for an
  orderly regulation of their relationships with one another.

 Limited Government – English colonists had the idea that
  government is not all-powerful; government must be
  restricted in what it may do; individuals have certain rights
  that government cannot take away.

 Representative Government – idea that government should
  serve the will of the people.
           LANDMARK ENGLISH DOCUMENTS

               MAGNA CARTA
WHEN           1215
               -Known as the “Great Charter”
WHO            -Between King John of England and Barrons
               -Trial by jury.
               -Due process of law.
RIGHTS
               -Protection of life, liberty and property.

               -Colonists wanted protection against arbitrary
               acts by the king.
SIGNIFICANCE   -Established the principle that the power of
               the monarchy was not absolute.
           LANDMARK ENGLISH DOCUMENTS

         PETITION OF RIGHT
WHEN           1628

WHO            Signed by King Charles I
               -Trial by jury.
               -No quartering of king’s troops.
RIGHTS         -No martial law during times of peace.
               -No cruel or unusual punishment.
               -No excessive bail or fines.
               -Limited the King’s power.
               -Challenged the idea of the divine right of
SIGNIFICANCE   kings – even a monarch must obey the laws of
               the land.
               LANDMARK ENGLISH DOCUMENTS

         ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS
WHEN              1689

                  - Parliament forced King William and Queen Mary to
WHO               agree.

                  -Right to petition.
                  -Trial by jury.
                  -No cruel or unusual punishment.
RIGHTS            -No excessive bail or fines.
                  -Prohibited a standing army in peacetime.
                  -Free parliamentary elections.
                  -Also known as the “Declaration of Rights”.
                  -Written to prevent the abuse of current and future
                  monarchs.
SIGNIFICANCE
                  -Founding Fathers used this document as a guide to
                  write the American Bill of Rights.
        THE 13 ENGLISH COLONIES
 First colony, Virginia, was founded with the first permanent English
  settlement at Jamestown in 1607.

 Georgia was the last colony established with the settlement of
  Savannah in 1733.

 Colonies were established for different reasons:
   – Virginia – founded by the Virginia Company for private commercial
     trade.
   – Massachusetts – founded by people seeking religious freedom.
   – Georgia – founded as a haven for debtors, a refuge for the victims
     of England’s harsh laws.

 Each colony was established on the basis of a charter – written grant of
  authority from the king.
      THE 13 ENGLISH COLONIES
 Royal Colonies – subject to direct control of the Crown. The king
  appointed the governor or each colony.
     (8) New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey,
     Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

 Proprietary Colonies – colonies were organized by a proprietor, a
  person to whom the king had made a grant of land. The proprietor
  appointed the governor.
     (3) Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

 Charter Colonies – charters were given to the colonists themselves
  and the colonies were largely self-governed. The people elected a
  governor each year.
     (2) Connecticut and Rhode Island
  COMING OF
INDEPENDENCE
             THE ALBANY PLAN
 In 1754, the British Board of Trade met with seven of the
  northern colonies to discuss regulation of colonial trade
  and the danger of attacks by Native Americans.

 Ben Franklin proposes the Albany Plan.

 An annual congress of delegates from the 13 colonies that
  would have the power to create an army, make war and
  peace with Native Americans, regulate trade, and collect
  custom duties.

 Plan was turned down by Colonies and the Crown.
   BRITAIN’S COLONICAL POLICIES
 Until 1760, the central government in London and the Colonies had a
  peaceful, working relationship.

 When King George III came to the throne, he began to deal with the
  colonies more firmly by restricting trade and imposing new taxes.

 Colonists considered themselves subjects of the Crown, but Parliament
  had no right to control local affairs.

 No need for British troops in America after the French and Indian War.

 “No taxation without representation!”

 Colonists are eventually faced with a decision to submit or revolt.
     THE STAMP ACT CONGRESS
 Colonists were outraged by the Stamp act of 1765 which
  required the use of tax stamps on all legal documents, business
  agreements, and on newspapers.

 Known as the Stamp Act Congress, nine of the colonies met in
  New York.

 Wrote the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances”, a petition
  against the new British policies and sent it to the King.

 Marked the first time a significant number of colonists joined
  to oppose the British government.
 FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
 After the Boston Massacre (1770) and the Boston Tea Party (1773),
  Parliament had passed new laws to punish the colonists including
  the Intolerable Acts.

 Delegates from all colonies except Georgia met in 1774.

 Wrote the “Declaration of Rights” protesting Britain’s colonial
  policies and sent it to King George III.

 Delegates agree to refuse all trade England until the taxes are
  repealed.

 Did NOT call for a separation from England.
SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
 Met in Philadelphia in (May 1775 – March 1781)

 The Revolution had already begun at Lexington and Concord, with the
  “shot heard ‘round the world” in April.

 All 13 colonies were represented.

 John Hancock chosen as president.

 An army was created and George Washington was appointed
  commander in chief.

 The Second Continental Congress becomes the first national
  government.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
 Richard Henry Lee proposes, “That these United Colonies are,
  and of right out to be free, and independent States…”

 Author Thomas Jefferson uses the works of John Locke.

 Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together or most
  assuredly we shall hang separately.”

 Delegates committed treason when they signed the
  Declaration of Independence.

 Document was adopted on July 4, 1776 proclaiming the
  existence of a new nation.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
                                          Primary author was Thomas
                                           Jefferson.

                                          Adopted by the Continental Congress
                                           on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia.

                                          Announced that the 13 American
                                           colonies, then at war with Great
                                           Britain, were now independent
                                           states, and thus no longer a part of
                                           the British Empire.

  “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
  that all men are created equal, that they  Justified the independence of the
 are endowed by their Creator with certain    Colonies by listing grievances against
 unalienable Rights, that among these are     King George III, and by asserting
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”  certain natural rights, including a
                                             right of revolution.
        “When in the Course of human events, it
       becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
      the political bands which have connected them
         with another, and to assume among the
       powers of the earth, the separate and equal
        station to which the Laws of Nature and of
      Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to
        the opinions of mankind requires that they
      should declare the causes which impel them to
                      the separation...”

Declaration of Independence
      “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…”

Declaration of Independence
           “But when a long train of abuses and
         usurpations, pursuing invariably the same
       Object evinces a design to reduce them under
       absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their
        duty, to throw off such Government, and to
      provide new Guards for their future security...”



Declaration of Independence
    “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of
       America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to
       the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our
     intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good
       People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,
      That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be
     Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from
       all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political
      connection between them and the State of Great Britain,
      is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and
        Independent States, they have full Power to levy War,
      conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,
        and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent
                        States may of right do…”

Declaration of Independence
    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a
        firm reliance on the protection of divine
     Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
     our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”




Declaration of Independence
    FIRST STATE CONSTITUTIONS
 The states adopted written constitutions to replace their charters.

 State conventions were held to draft and adopt these new
  documents.

 Massachusetts set the example in the constitution-making process
  by submitting the document to the people to be ratified.

 Early state constitutions shared four common features:
   – Popular Sovereignty
   – Limited Government
   – Civil Rights and Liberties
   – Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances
THE CRITICAL PERIOD
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
            Used by the Colonies during the
             Revolution.

            First attempt by the new states to
             establish a lasting government for
             the new nation.

            1st “constitution”

            Main focus was to fight and win
             war against England.

            Considered a very weak form of
             government.
      WEAKNESSES OF THE
  ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
 Unicameral legislature only.          Amendment only with consent of
                                         all 13 states.
 One vote for each state regardless
  of size.                              A 9/13 majority required to pass
                                         all laws.
 Congress was powerless to lay and
  collect taxes, or regulate trade      Congress can only raise an army
  between states.                        by asking states for troops.

 No executive branch to enforce        Only a “firm league of friendship”
  laws.                                  – states were more loyal to
                                         themselves than the US as a
 No judicial branch or national         whole.
  court system.
SHAYS’ REBELLION
        1786 - Armed uprising in
         Massachusetts.
        Led by Daniel Shays, a veteran
         of the American Revolution.
        High taxes and debts, and poor
         economic conditions led to
         many farmers loosing their
         land and possessions.
        Shays and his followers tried to
         attack a federal arsenal.
        The Rebellion proved the need
         for a stronger central
         government.
      A NEED FOR A STRONGER
           GOVERNMENT
 The Articles had a created a government unable to
  deal with the nation’s troubles.

 Those who had the most to loose – large property
  owners, merchants, traders – led the effort to
  strengthen the central government.

 In February 1787, seven states join together in
  Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles. This
  meeting became the Constitutional Convention.
CREATING THE
CONSTITUTION
“We have it in our power to begin
the world over again. A situation,
similar to the present, hath not
happened since the days of Noah
until now. The birthday of a new
world is at hand.”
                     - Thomas Paine
                  THE FRAMERS
 The 55 delegates from twelve states that attended the
  Philadelphia Convention are known as the Framers.
 Young, educated group.
 Many had fought in the Revolution and served in the First and
  Second Continental Congresses.
 Notable Attendees: George Washington, James Madison,
  Alexander Hamilton, and Ben Franklin.
 Missing from the Meeting: John Adams, Samuel Adams, John
  Hancock, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas
  Jefferson.
      A MOMENTOUS DECISION
 The original purpose of the Philadelphia convention was to
  revise the Articles of Confederation.

 Soon, the delegates realized they needed to start over, and
  create a new government with a new constitution.
SOURCES OF THE CONSTITUTION
 Governments of ancient Greece and Rome.
 Governments of contemporary Great Britain and
  Europe.
 Landmark English documents such as the Magna
  Carta, The Petition of Right, and the English Bill of
  Rights.
 Writings of Charles Montesquieu, Jean Jacques
  Rousseau, and John Locke.
 Own experiences from the Second Continental
  Congress, Articles of Confederation, and their own
  state governments.
            MAJOR PROBLEMS
 How will the states be represented in Congress?

 Will slaves count in the population total?

 How do we choose a national leader?

 What powers should Congress have?
               THE VIRGINIA PLAN
 Written by James Madison and
  proposed by Edmund Randolph.

 New government with 3
  separate branches: legislative,
  executive, and judicial.

 Bicameral Congress –
  representation was based on
  population and how much $$
  the state contributed to the
  national government.

 Congress will choose the
  National Executive.
         THE NEW JERSEY PLAN
 Presented by William
  Paterson.

 Unicameral Congress with
  equal representation from
  each state.

 Wanted more than 1 federal
  executive chosen by Congress.
THE CONNECTICUT COMPROMISE
 Also known as the Great Compromise

 Congress will be a bicameral legislature –

  Senate (States will be represented equally)

  House of Representatives (The number of representatives per
  state will be based on population.)
THE THREE-FIFTHS COMPROMISE
 Southern states wanted slaves to be counted toward
  their state population.

 Northern states opposed slaves counting toward the
  population total.

 A compromise was finally reached that a slave shall
  count as 3/5 of a person. (Essentially 2 slaves = 1 free
  person.)
   COMMERCE & SLAVE TRADE
       COMPROMISE
 Congress shall have the power to regulate foreign and
  interstate trade, except for the slave trade - which
  was forbidden for at least 20 years.

 Congress was forbidden to place a tax on any export
  from any state.
  THE CONVENTION CONCLUDES
 On September 17, 1787, the
  Constitutional Convention came
  to an end with the signing of the
  new US Constitution.

 Now the real challenge began –
  the new constitution had to be
  ratified by at least 9 of the 13
  states for it to take affect.

 Without ratification, there
  would be no United States.
RATIFYING THE
CONSTITUTION
        FEDERALISTS                   ANTI-FEDERALISTS
 Those who favored ratification of    Those who opposed
  the original Constitution.            ratification.
 Stressed the weakness of the         Objected to the ratification
  Articles and the need for a           process.
  stronger central government.         Upset about the absence of
 James Madison, Alexander              any mention of God.
  Hamilton, John Marshall, and         Disliked the denial to the
  John Jay.                             states to print money.
                                       Opposed to giving the central
                                        government more power.
                                       Demanded a bill of rights to
                                        protect citizens’ rights.
                                       Patrick Henry, James Monroe,
                                        Richard Henry Lee, Thomas
                                        Jefferson.
THE FEDERALISTS PAPERS
            A collection of 85 essays
             supporting the ratification of
             the Constitution.

            Published in newspapers
             around the country.

            Written by James Madison,
             Alexander Hamilton, and
             John Jay.
                       RATIFICATION
 According to Article VII of the Constitution, “nine states shall be sufficient
  for the establishment of this Constitution between the States…”

 June 21, 1788, Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the new
  Constitution.

 Under Article VII, ratification by New Hampshire should have brought the
  Constitution into effect. However, neither Virginia or New York had yet
  ratified, and without either support, the US could not successfully form a
  new government.

 By a slim margin, Virginia (89-79) and New York (30-27) both ratify the
  Constitution.
            INAUGURATING THE
            NEW GOVERNMENT
 April 30, 1789

 Washington is inaugurated
  as the 1st and only
  unanimously elected
  president of the United
  States.

 He takes the oath of office in
  New York City, the nation’s
  first capital.

				
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