The Roots of American
Government
I.
Government in the Colonies
A. Traditions of English Government
1. Magna Carta
2. Parliament
B. Self-Rule in America
C. Dominion of New England Established
D. Glorious Revolution
1. English Bill of Rights
2. Salutary neglect
II. England’s Economic Relationship With the Colonies
A. Mercantilism Drives the British Economy
B. Navigation Acts Regulate Trade
C. Consumer Revolution
D. Triangular Trade Route
III. New Ideas Affect the American Colonies
A. Enlightenment
B. Great Awakening
C. Impact
1. Formation of new churches
2. Rise in democratic beliefs
Objectives
•
Explore how English traditions influenced the
development of colonial governments.
•
Analyze the economic relationship between
England and its colonies.
•
Describe the influence of the Enlightenment
and the Great Awakening on the 13 colonies.
Terms and People
•
Magna Carta – 1215 document that limited the
king’s ability to tax English nobles and that
guaranteed due process and a right to trial
•
Parliament – English lawmaking body
•
English Bill of Rights – 1689 document
guaranteeing a number of freedoms
•
habeas corpus – idea that no one could be
held in prison without being charged with a
specific crime
•
salutary neglect – a policy in which England
allowed its colonies self-rule
Terms and People
(continued)
•
mercantilism – economic policy under which a
nation accumulates wealth by exporting more
goods than it imports
•
Navigation Acts – a series of trade laws
enacted by Parliament in the mid-1600s
•
Enlightenment – European intellectual
movement during the 1600s and 1700s
•
Benjamin Franklin – American colonist
inspired by the Enlightenment, he was a printer,
author, scientist, and inventor
Terms and People
•
(continued)
Great Awakening – a religious movement that
occurred in the colonies in the mid-1700s
• Much of America’s political heritage and
traditions come from England.
• When English colonists settled in British North
America, they brought with them a sense of
their rights as Englishmen.
The English had a long governmental tradition.
Magna
Carta
In 1215, English nobles made King John
accept a limitation to his taxation and
guaranteed the right to a trial.
Parliament
A two-house legislature composed of the
House of Lords, an inherited position, and
the House of Commons, elected by men
with property.
Glorious
Revolution
The English overthrew King James and
installed William and Mary, who granted the
English Bill of Rights.
Magna Carta
• http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta
• http://www.bl.uk/magnacarta/articles/magna-carta-an-introduction
• http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_d
ocuments/magna_carta/
Magna Carta
• “The Great Charter”
• 1215
• King John was forced to agree to certain
demands from nobles
• Established principle that everyone, including
the king, was subject to the rule of law
• Provided free men with the right to a fair trial
• Magna Carta marks 800th anniversary
• http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation
/2014/11/11/magna-carta-library-of-congressdisplay/18876889/
Parliament
• Over centuries, the idea evolved that
Parliament represented the entire nation of
England
• Since the 17th century, Parliament has played a
central role in shaping the development of
Britain and in defining the rights and
responsibilities of British citizens.
(http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)
• English colonists claimed the same rights as
those in England
• Because the government of England was far
away, however, the colonies had a great deal
of freedom in how they structured their
governments
• Some (as in New England) established
republics with elected governors
• Others had royal governors, but also elected
representatives in colonial legislatures
Dominion of New England
• 1685
• King James II revoked the charters in New
England and combined those colonies with
New York and New Jersey into the Dominion
of New England
• Royal governor- Sir Edmond Andros
• After the Glorious Revolution, the colonists
rebelled and arrested Andros
• William and Mary, the new monarchs, made
Massachusetts a royal colony with an elected
assembly
• Maryland became a royal colony
• Rhode Island and Connecticut were permitted
to keep their old charters
• New York- Jacob Liesler, who had led a
rebellion there, was executed
Glorious Revolution
• 1688-1689
• King James II was overthrown
• His daughter Mary and her husband, William
III, prince of Orange assumed the throne
• Bloodless revolution
William and Mary
English Bill of Rights
• http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educ
ator-resources/americapedia/americapediadocuments/english-bill-of-rights/
• http://www.constitution.org/eng/eng_bor.ht
m
English Bill of Rights
• The right to a writ of habeas corpus (someone
cannot be held in prison without being tried
for a crime)
• Monarch could not keep a standing army in
time of peace without Parliament’s approval
• No excessive bail or fines and no cruel and
unusual punishment
Zenger Trial
• 1734
• John Peter Zenger, a newspaper publisher, was
arrested for libel- printing falsehoods that are
intended to damage a person’s reputation.
• His newspaper had printed articles criticizing
the governor
• The jury found Zenger not guilty (what he had
published was true)
Significance
• This was an important first step towards
freedom of the press.
• Legally, it still did not exist, though
Colonists were English subjects and self-ruling.
The colonists
believed that the
English Bill of
Rights applied to
them, even though
they lived in the
colonies.
At the same time,
the colonies
enjoyed a long
period of selfgovernment and
individual liberties.
Salutary Neglect
• England allowed its colonies local self-rule
(until the mid-18th century)
Mercantilism
• Based upon the belief that a nation could
build wealth and power by developing its
industries and exporting manufactured goods
in exchange for gold and silver.
• Colonies existed for the benefit of the mother
country.
English mercantilism meant the
colonies exported raw materials
only to England.
In exchange, the colonies bought
manufactured goods from England.
The cloth for this dress
was produced in England
The English
Parliament
passed
trade laws
called the
Navigation
Acts.
The laws successfully regulated colonial trade to create
great wealth and power for England in the 1600s.
England collected custom duties- taxes on imported
goods
Consumer Revolution
• Transatlantic commerce expanded
• Cheaper goods increasingly entered the
colonies
• 1720-1770 colonial imports per person
increased by 50%
• 1700- American colonies consumed about 10
percent of British exports. By 1772 it rose to
37%
Significance
• British and colonists felt increasing pride in
the empire
• Colonies increased in importance to Britain
• Colonists suffered a trade imbalance- they
imported more than they exported resulting in
a shortage of cash.
The new ideas of the Enlightenment in the
1600s and 1700s influenced Americans.
• Exposed colonists to new ways of thinking such
as scientific reasoning and applying natural laws
to government.
• People believed that human reason could
solve issues.
• Colonial leader Benjamin Franklin was greatly
inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment.
Enlightenment Thinkers
• 1600s and 1700s
• European intellectual movement
• Enlightenment thinkers believed that human
problems could be solved by using reason
Hobbes
• Life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"
• John Locke
– 17th century political theorist
– Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690
– Social contract theory
– People have a right to life, liberty and property
– Governments are formed for the purpose of
protecting these natural rights
• Jean-Jacques Rousseau
– On the Social Contract
In the colonies, the development of democracy
was influenced by:
•
the English parliamentary tradition.
•
the colonies having a long period of selfrule.
•
the new ideas of the European
Enlightenment.
•
the Judeo-Christian religious
influence on colonial people.
Religion played an important
part in colonial life:
•
Many colonists had immigrated for religious
reasons.
•
Churches played a social role in colonial life.
•
Churches served as public places for reading
government proclamations, holding elections,
and posting new laws.
George Whitefield was a popular preacher in the
colonies who helped launch a new religious
movement called the Great Awakening.
•
Preachers traveled through the
colonies and preached powerful,
emotion-packed sermons.
•
Many people left their old
established churches, joined the
movement, and started new
churches.
Religion
• By the early eighteenth century, the
established New England Congregational
Church was losing religious fervor. The Great
Awakening, sparked by fiery preachers such as
Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield,
spread a new style of emotional worship that
revived religious zeal.
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXOOPsgv
C94
Great Awakening
• Periods of religious revival (renewed
enthusiasm)
• Ideas came from Europe and spread in the
colonies
• Stressed the individual’s relationship with
God.
• Undermined legally established churches and
authority
• Led to formation of new churches
• 1730s- Jonathan Edwards encouraged a
religious revival in New England
• George Whitefield- English minister
– Attracted huge crowds from Georgia to
Massachusetts
– New Lights were those who followed his message
that they must seek salvation
The Great Awakening gave rise to a
changed political awareness.
Participants in the Great Awakening came to
realize that if they can select their own religion,
they can also select their own government.

USI Ch.3 Sec.2 PPT