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The Road to American Democracy

  • Virginia House of Burgesses

    Virginia House of Burgesses
    The Virginia House of Burgresses is the first representative body in the colonies. In 1764 the Virginia House of Burgesses sent a petition to Parliament that said, "They conceive it is essential to British liberty that laws imposing taxes on the people ought not to be made without the consent of representatives chosen by themselves"
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    The Mayflower Compact was an agreement between the passengers on the Maflower to live under fair laws and work for the good of the colony. The significance of the Mayflower Compact was that the colonists were starting to rule themselves under a democracy.
    Primary Source: "And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers"
  • Fundmental Orders of Connecticut

    Fundmental Orders of Connecticut
    The Fundmental Orders of Connecticut was the first written constitution. It set up a representative democracy in the colony of Connecticut.
    Primary Source: ". . . where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God . . . do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth"
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    The French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War was a war fought between Britain and France and its Indian allies in North America. British had to place the Stamp Act to provide funds for the troops to protect the lands they just gained.

    Primary Source: "There shall be a Christian, universal, and perpetual peace, as well by sea as by land, and a sincere and constant friendship shall be re established . . ."
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was "An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America" because England needed funds to keep its troops in America. After the stamp Act, the colonists first issued the cry of "No taxation without representation".
  • Battles at Lexington and Concord

    Battles at Lexington and Concord
    Massachusetts colonists and British troops met at Lexington and Concord. These battles sparked the American Revolution.
    Primary Source: ". . . a bridade, consisting of about 1000 or 1200 men, landed at Phipp's farm at Cambridge and marched to Lexington, where they found a company of our militia in arms, upon whom they fired without any provocation".
  • Common Sense Published

    Common Sense Published
    The phamphlet 'Common Sense,' written by Thomas Paine gave American Colonists and argument for freedom from Britian when many were unsure if they wanted independence. He states that "The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth," and calls "Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!"
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence created a new image and philosophy for the Americas model. The document severed alliances between England and the American colonies. An important line in the Declaration is, "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 . . . "