Magna Carta • Nobles placed limits on royal power • Forced King John to give up important rights (limits on taxation, protection of private property, trial by jury, and certain religious freedoms) • Only for nobles, but HUGE step in establishing principle of limited gov’t
Coming to a New Land • British citizens started breaking free from Britain 1760’s (3 reasons) 1.Public opinion-positive move for many 2. Taxes and set salaries for governors 3. Colonial policies were often weak
Coming to a New Land British colonists were loyal, BUT they did go against British policy on occasion • Why?
Stamp Act • Parliament passed a law placing a tax on all printed materials • Colonists were furious • “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION” • -Boycott of British goods
Townshend Acts • Taxed everyday items • After Boston Massacre Parliament repealed all but the Tea Tax • Reminded the colonists of Parliament’s power
Boston Tea Party • Colonists didn’t like being “held down” by Parliament • Intolerable Acts resulted from BTP-laws that invaded the privacy of the colonists (forcing colonists to house soldiers)
First Continental Congress • FCC looked for a solution with Britain • Declaration of Rights-Colonists were entitled to the same rights as British-Parliament had violated them • British offended by FCC and sent troops to Mass. • Start of American Revolution
Second Continental Congress • SCC formed soon after, led by John Hancock • George Washington named commander of the army • SCC served as first government of the U.S. from 1776-1781
Declaration of Independence • Jefferson announces the independence in the first paragraph • Remainder refers to reasons for revolt • Franklin-signers need to “hang together” or they would “most assuredly hang separately”
Articles of Confederation • Articles of Confederation ratified March 1781 • America’s first National Constitution • Power was in the states-not central gov’t • 13 states or one nation? • One vote for each state • No national courts • Only a “firm league of friendship”
Representation in Congress • Congress was virtually powerless under the Articles • Constitutional Convention-May 1787 • Two plans-New Jersey Plan and Virginia Plan
New Jersey Plan • Favored small states • Equal representation from every state no matter the size of the state
Virginia Plan • Favored large states • Representation based on population • 3 branches • central gov’t could cancel state laws and make states follow national laws
Great Compromise • Bicameral legislature • one based on population (House of Rep.) • one for the states (Senate) • But what about the slaves?