English settlers brought knowledge of political

English settlers brought knowledge of political system to establish laws, customs,
Colonists brought three ideas:
1. Ordered government - created local government based on those people known in
Ex. (sheriff, coroner, assessor, justice of peace, grand jury)
2. Limited government - each individual has certain rights that they can not take
away; gov’t power - people should have voice on what gov’t should do or not
3. Representative government - gov’t serve will of people; public policies made by
officials who are selected by voters and held accountable to them in periodic
Chapter 2 – Section 1
3 Documents
1215 - Magna Carta “Great Charter” (King John forced to sign)
Charter establishing the principle power of monarchy is NOT absolute
Protecting people’s rights like; trial by jury; due process of law; protection against
arbitrarily taking life, liberty or property.
1628 - Petition of Right - Challenged Divine Right of King – Monarch must obey law of land
-Limited king’s power by not allowing king to imprison political critics without trial by jury
-Not rule by military during peacetime and not have to shelter troops with consent
King needed money to fight a war with France so agreed to it until he got the money
and then abused his authority.
1689 - English Bill of Rights
-written by Parliament to prevent abuse of power by English monarchs
-Monarchs had to follow the laws of Parliament
-Citizens had a right to petition to the gov’t and vote for members of Parliament
-Prohibited standing army in peacetime except with consent of Parliament
-guaranteed rights to a fair & speedy trial, freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual
Chapter 2 – Section 1
Three different kinds of colonies
1. Royal Colony (NH, NY, NJ, VA, NC, SC, GA, MA)- subject to direct control of crown.
-King named governor and a council.
-Legislature is bicameral = 2 houses
-Council became Upper house in legislature and highest court in colony.
-Lower house = legislators elected by those property owners who vote shared with
governor’s power = (power of the purse) tax & spending.
-Laws passed had to be approved by Governor and King
2. Proprietary Colony (MD, PA, DE) - 3 colonies; PA-unicameral; MD, DE – bicameral
Proprietor - a person the king made a grant of land. By charter, land could be
governed and settled to his choosing; MD = granted to Lord Baltimore;
PA, DE = William Penn; Governor appointed by proprietor.
3. Charter Colony - CT, RI
MASS BAY = 1st - self governed by colonists.
-Governors elected yearly by male property owners.
-Used a bicameral system.
-Laws made are not subject to governor’s veto or king’s approval.
-Judges appointed by legislature; Appeals to law could be taken to king
Chapter 2 – Section 1
1643 - Mass, Plymouth, New Haven, Connecticut = New England Confederation
formed a “league of friendship” (joining of several groups for a common purpose) to
defend against American Indians; Dissolved 1684
1754 - Albany Plan of Union
British Board of Trade had meeting with 7 northern colonies to discuss colonial trade
and dangers of attack by French & Indians
Benjamin Franklin proposed the ALBANY PLAN OF UNION = formation of annual
Congress with delegates from 13 colonies.
Body would have power to: raise military and armed forces, make war and peace
with Native Americans, regulate trade, levy tax, collect custom duties, it was agreed
by delegates but denied by colonies and rejected by Crown.
1760 - George III began to create restrictive trading acts and enforcing new taxes to
support the British troops in America
SUGAR ACT – tax on foreign-made molasses
Colonists objected to taxes “taxation w/o representation”
Saw little need for the costly presence of British troops since French were defeated
(Fr./Indian War 1754-63)
Colonist refused to accept Parliament had a right to control their local affairs.
Chapter 2 – Section 2
1765 - Stamp Act
Parliament passed new laws; use of tax stamps on all legal documents, business
agreements, newspapers; rates were severe and colonists were made b/c of
“taxation w/o representation”;
Delegates from 9 colonies sent reps to Stamp Act Congress - NY and prepared a
strong protest. Parliament repealed the Stamp Act; but made new laws that were
1765 – 9 colonies came together and wrote the Declaration of Rights and
Grievances to the King- protesting Britains’ colonial policies and agreed to boycott
British products.
1767 – Townshend Act – taxed goods that were imported into the colony from
Britain such as: lead, glass, paint, paper
1770 - Mob violence erupted at port, boycotts of English goods. British troops in
Boston fired on crowd killing 5 including Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave ?= Boston
1773 Tea Act was created to save the British East India Co. sell tea to colonist tax free
which would have cut out colonial merchants out of the tea trade. Colonist protested
Chapter 2 – Section 2
1773 - Boston Tea Party - group of men disguised as Native Americans boarded 3
ships in Boston Harbor dumped East India’s tea in the water
Colonist boycotted English goods
1774 - 56 delegates - 1st Continental Congress met in Philly to discuss plan of action.
Created and wrote the Declaration of Rights to the King- protesting Britains’ colonial
policies and agreed to boycott British products.
1st time colonies joined together to oppose the Parliament
1774 - Parliament passed more laws to punish colonist in Boston - Intolerable Acts
April 19, 1775 - Revolution had begun - “shot heard around the world” - Battles of
May 10, 1775 - 2nd Continental Congress met in Philly
Each 13 colonies sent representatives to discuss independence.
Hancock chosen President of Congress
Washington appointed Commander Chief of the Continental Army
Thomas Jefferson took Washington’s place - VA delegate
Chapter 2 – Section 2
1775 , June– Battle of Bunker Hill; colonist defeated
1775, July – Continental Congress sent the king Olive Branch Petition =
to have peace between colonist and Britain; King refused
1776 - Became nation’s first national gov’t - Declaration of Independence
Describes the basic rights on which nation was founded
Congress named the committee of five = Franklin, J. Adams, R. Sherman, R.
Livingston, T. Jefferson
Declaration of Independence mostly written by Thomas Jefferson
July 4, 1776 - NH replaced royal charter with constitution
def: Constitution - bodies of fundamental laws setting out the principles, structures,
and processes of their gov’ts.
1776-77 most states drafted their own constitutions
Chapter 2 – Section 2
Common Principles (Features )of States Constitutions
1. Popular Sovereignty - gov’t exist only with consent of the governed (people hold
power & are sovereign)
2. Limited Gov’t
3. Civil Rights & liberties - sovereign people had certain rights gov’t must respect;
some had bill of rights.
4. Checks and Balances AND Separation of Powers
Chapter 2 – Section 2
Articles of Confederation ( A of C ) – approved November, 1777
STRUCTURE of the Articles of Confederation is:
-unicameral (1 vote for each state regardless of size or wealth)
-executive and judicial function handled by committee in Congress
-President of Congress chosen by legislature annually. Act as presiding officer.
-Delegates from each state elected annually.
Strengths of the A of C
make war, peace and treaties
send and receive ambassadors
set up a money system
establish a post offices
build a navy and raise an army - (asking states for troops)
fix uniform standards of weights and measures
settle disputes among the states
Chapter 2 – Section 3
Weaknesses of the A of C 1 vote for each state regardless size
no power to tax
must borrow money from states
no power to regulate between states and foreign commerce
could not force states to obey A of C
9/13 states to consent to action
Articles could be amended only with unanimous consent (all 13 colonies)
no executive to enforce acts of Congress
no national court system
Obligations of the States
-Pledged to obey A of C and Acts of Congress
-States would provide funds & troops requested by Congress
-treat citizens of other states FAIRLY & EQUALLY
-give FULL FAITH & CREDIT to public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every
other State.
-States agreed to surrender fugitives from justice to one another
-allow open travel and trade between states
-responsible for protecting life & property and accountable for promoting general
welfare of people.
Chapter 2 – Section 3
Problems Facing the New Nation - The Treaty of Paris was signed.
US experienced problems:
no international experience
Had to reestablish trade relations with foreign nations
deal with financial problems
Owed money to both foreign nations and to US citizens
The states of the NEW NATION would soon prove to be “UNITED” in name only
States competed against each other for British favor and economic advantage
(ONLY TIME STATES GOT TOGETHER was Revolutionary War b/c suited their needs.)
Problems with Trade
US goods exported to any port in the British Empire had to be carried on British ships
Hurt American shipping industry
US goods that competed with British made goods were barred altogether
To keep British production going - Brit. Merchants began flooding American markets
with inexpensive goods that competed with similar goods made in the US
Hurt US industries and couldn’t compete with a more cheaply manufactured Brit.
REMEDY: Establish a tariff on British goods
WEAKNESS - Prevented Congress from imposing any taxes, including tariffs on
imports. Individual states could levy tariffs but NOT binding on other states
Chapter 2 – Section 3
Problems Financing the Nation
US owed several huge debts - foreign gov’t: France, Holland, Spain
Congress made requests from citizens for loans
Each of the 13 states had own similar debts
Congress had issued 4 ½ million dollars in paper money called CONTINENTAL
No backing of money like gold created HIGH LEVELS OF INFLATION and decreasing
the value of dollar
States also issued money to meet debt...15 different kinds of money circulating the
country - all depreciated in value
REMEDY: pass a tax to raise revenue
Force states to stop printing paper money
WEAKNESS - nat’l gov’t had NO power to tax & NO power to enforce laws or
restrictions to the states.
Chapter 2 – Section 3
Problems in Foreign Relations
US very weak militarily
Army disbanded due to lack of funds
Navy borrowed ships from France
US was weak and stronger countries took advantage
Brit passed series of NAVAGATION ACTS - closed British West Indies ports, forbade
importation of N.England fish, levied taxes on American ships in other British ports
Spain closed the Mississippi River and port of New Orleans to American Shipping.
States continued to hold British citizens’ property - violation of the Treaty of Paris
Britain kept troops stationed in forts along the frontier to harass American settlers
coming across the Appalachian Mts.
US dealt with piracy of Morocco, Algiers, and Libya
REMEDIES: Raise an army to enforce laws
raise a navy to protect American shipping
WEAKNESS - Congress had power to raise army but NO MONEY
Chapter 2 – Section 3
Problems with Interstate Relations
States competed with each other economically
Goods shipped from one state to another were often subjected to IMPORT TAX
If states couldn’t pass a tariff, its citizens would boycott
States tried to control ships traveling along border rivers
Courts commissioned by Congress to resolve dispute but states often chose not to
follow the court’s decision
States not meeting financial obligation and honoring Congress’ requests for funds
States did not help pay for the national debt and ignored Congress.
REMEDIES: Pass laws to control interstate trade
Force states to comply with financial and treaty obligations
WEAKNESS - 2/3 majority requirement made it difficult to pass any law
Didn’t provide Congress with any authority to enforce its laws
(States didn’t have to comply with financial and treaty obligations)
Chapter 2 – Section 3
October 19, 1781 - Revolutionary war ended
Signed Treaty of Paris in 1783
Many economic and political problems arose after war. States taxing each other,
bickering, not trusting each other, debt, no strong central gov’t, states printed own
Consequences of A of C
bickering among states
economic chaos
Shay’s rebellion
1786 - Shays Rebellion - series of armed attacks on courthouses from a group of
farmers led by revolutionary war Captain Shay to prevent judges from foreclosing on
their farm.
Small farmers unable to pay their debts threatened with mortgage foreclosures
Some legislators were more sympathetic to debtors and adopted policies to help
Rebellion - reaffirmed the belief of the delegates that new fed gov’t needed to be a stronger
Chapter 2 – Section 3
What were the achievements of the First National Government under the Aof C?
1. Revolutionary War was conducted under this government and it secured
recognition of American independence by European governments. Negotiated a
peace treaty with Britain.
2. NW Ordinance 1787 - defined NW territory
- created plan for its government
- ordinance provided for 5 states (OH, IN, IL, MI, WI); N of Ohio River and E of Mississippi River
- states would provide education and slavery prohibited from those lands
3. Increased democracy and liberty for white males
4. Expanded political participation brought New Middle Class to power
Chapter 2 – Section 3
1786, September - Annapolis, MD - was a low turnout of representative so set up
another meeting date. They wanted to -discuss problem of the A of C;
May, 1787 = called Constitutional Convention to get together in Philadelphia, PA to
revise the A of C
12 states came to revise A of C b/c amending Articles required unanimous
55 delegates pledged their SECRECY and ignored instructions or revising the A of C
and began writing Constitution (may disagree on many issues but agreed on writing
Chapter 2 – Section 4
VA PLAN- Edmond Randolph and James Madison - May 29 largelythework of Madisonwas presentedbyRandolph
-representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state’s population or
money given to support gov’t
- bicameral legislation
- H of R - popular election
- Senate - chosen by House of Representatives from list of nominees by State reps
- 3 branches
- it would have all powers from A of C and make laws for states, override state law,
and force states to obey national laws
- Congress choose members of judicial branch and Pres
- National Executive and Judiciary could veto but can be overridden by two houses
- Executive would have general authority to execute all national laws
VA Plan brought up 2 questions:
What powers should the national gov’t be given?
power to tax, regulate interstate trade, raise and fund army & navy
and call on militia to enforce laws and put down insurrections.
How much power should the national gov’t be given?
Large/Small states CLASHED re: proportional representation...large states
favored, small states did not. Ex. VA would have 16 delegates and RI would have 1
Chapter 2 – Section 4
NEW JERSEY PLAN - maintained features of A of C - William Patterson , JUNE 15th introduced plan.
- equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of state’s population
- unicameral - elected by State legislatives rather than voted by the people
- Executive more than one person chosen by Congress and removed by majority
request of States governors
- Judiciary appointed by Executive
To gain ratification of the new constitution, three compromises were made:
1. Great Compromise or Connecticut Compromise
For both large & small states; bicameral
Senate = equal representation
House = based on population
2. 3/5 Compromise - Should slaves be counted in the population of the southern States?
- Slaves would be counted in population (3/5 of person); for the benefit of the South
- South must pay taxes on those counted; for the benefit of the North
RID of this 13th Amendment - 1865
3. Commerce & Slave Trade Compromise
- No congressional interference with slave trade for 20 years 1808(benefit of south)
- Congress could not tax export goods from any state
- Congress has power to regulate foreign and interstate trade
Chapter 2 – Section 4
Feelings and arguments of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the
ratification process:
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton
John Jay, John Hancock
Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams
Richard Henry Lee
large landowner, wealthy merchants, professional
strong central government
issues with slave trade
hold states unified
less concern for individual liberties
indirect elections of officials
longer terms
national currency
small farmers, shopkeepers, laborers
strong state government
lack of God - absence in document
objected ratification process
wanted a Bill of Rights
direct election of officials
shorter terms
denial of state to print money
Constitution day - written September 17, 1787
1789 - Constitution ratified
Chapter 2 – Section 5

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