Chapter 2, Section 1 Our English Heritage (pages 28-32)

Chapter 2, Section 1
Our English Heritage (32-37)
Main Idea:
Science and the influence of reason led to
new innovations in political thought.
I. What Influenced Colonial Government (33-35)
A. Political and legal traditions of Eng. and
ideas from the Enlightenment are the
basis of many rights today.
B. The English brought with them a history of
limited and representative government.
New ideas about law, society, and
people’s rights.
C. Monarch- A King or Queen
D. Magna Carta- 1215
1.) Magna Carta- Upheld rights of landowners (nobles) giving them certain rights.
2.) Limited the power of King/Queen
3.) English Nobles forced King John to sign it.
E. Parliament-1300’s
1.) Legislature- A lawmaking body
2.) Parliament- England’s lawmaking body
***Removed King James II from throne. This
peaceful transfer of power was called
Glorious Revolution. From then on no one
ruler had more power than legislature!!!***
F. Parliament drew up the English Bill of
1. Restricted the monarch’s power to raise
taxes, raise Army, create special courts
2. Guaranteed:
- Free Speech, Fair Jury, No Cruel and
Unusual Punishment
G. In early days, England had NO written laws.
People created their own rules that became
custom. Courts developed and judges followed
these customs.
H. Judges used precedents
1. Precedents- Rulings in an earlier case that
are similar
I. Common Law- System of law based on
***Our laws about property, contracts, and
personal injury are based on English common
II. Philosophical Influences
A. John Locke (1632-1704) political
philosopher that influenced Jefferson.
1. Locke saw government as a social contract
between the people and the rulers.
2. Natural Rights- Locke argued people are
born free, equal, and independent.
3. People give up certain freedoms to
obtain certain protections from gov.
B. Jean-Jacques Rosseau (1712-1778)
1. French Philosopher
2. Wrote The Social Contract
3. Social Contract – “man is born free, yet
everywhere he is found in chains”.
4. Many in Europe lived under oppressive
governments and he felt people alone had
the right to determine how to be governed.
C. Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
1. Developed idea of Separation of Powers
2. Divide gov. into different parts to balance power
and not threaten individual rights.
**** Locke’s ideas on social contract and natural
rights along with Montesquieu’s separation of
powers heavily influenced the Decl. of Indep. and
the Const.
III. Colonial Traditions of Self Government (3637)
A. Colony- group of people in one place but
ruled by a parent country someplace else.
B. Colonists remained loyal to England even
after they left for America.
C. Charter- Written document granting land and
authority to set up local governments.
D. Jamestown, Virginia- The first
permanent North American colony founded in
1. Virginia Company’s charter promised
colonists of Jamestown the same liberties as
in England.
2. Colonists chose representatives called
burgesses to meet with the governor.
3. House of Burgesses- marked the
beginning of self government in the colonies.
**** 1st representative assembly or legislature
E. Before arriving in Plymouth, Pilgrims drew
up the Mayflower Compact.
1. Mayflower Compact- a written plan
to set up direct democracy when
they arrived in America.
2. Compact- An agreement, or
contract among people. Majority
Citizens hold town meetings to address local
issues and problems
Jamestown/Plymouth video
IV. Early Colonial Governments (37)
A. Eventually, English colonies all along east
coast followed the examples of the Mayflower
Compact and the House of Burgesses.
B. Each colony had a governor, elected
legislature, modeled after the English Parliament.
C. The Colonists took on more power over time.
***Colonists grew used to making their own
decisions, while the King and Parliament
were preoccupied in England…***
Mini Quiz!!!
Green Day-Oasis Remix
1. “A law making body”…?
2. What is a monarch? What country had one?
3. What was the English Parliament?
4. Did England have written laws? How did people
know what the laws were?
5. “System of law based on precedents”?
6. The first form of self government in the colonies
was called what? Where was it located?