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Path to the American Constitution

  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    When King John annoyed the British Lords they forced him to sit down and sign a document that limited his powers. It granted nobility the rights to trial by jury and due process. Also referred to as the Great Charter.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    This document was signed by William and Mary, the monarchs of England at the time, in order to protect the people and limit the power of the crown. It included such ideas as the right to a fair trial and freedom from excess bail and cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Albany Plan of the Union

    Albany Plan of the Union
    This plan was created by Benjamin Franklin. It forced Congress to meet once a year, one delegate for each state. This plan gave Congress the power to raise the miitary, make war and peace, deal with Native AMericans, tax, and collect custom duties.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    In protest to taxation without representation and specifically the tea tax, colonists threw a bunch of tea into the Boston Harbor. They were dressed as Native Americans.
  • First Constitutional Congress

    First Constitutional Congress
    Delegates from twelve of the colonies met in Philadelphia. They encouraged boycotts. They also created a Declaration of RIghts to deliver to the King.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    This Congress served as the first government of the UNited States. This congress brought us the Declaration of Independance. It was a unicameral Congress
  • Declaration of Independance

    Declaration of Independance
    Written mainly by Thomas Jefferson, this document declares our independance from Britain. Originally it procluded the institution of slavery, however, the would not sign it so they compromised.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    This was a rough draft for a constitution. It secured friendship between the colonies but it was too weak and did not provide a strong central government.