We the people

American Government Timeline

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    An english charter published in 1215. A 1225 and a 1297 version were published later that century. This states the rights of people given by the king.
  • Aug 25, 1550

    State of Nature

    State of Nature
    A term in political philosophy used in social contract theories. The state of nature is the condition before the rule of positive law comes in to effect. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Montesquie, Rousseau and David Hume have different uses of the state of nature
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    It was a compact signed by the colonists on board the ship Mayflower to discuss the government of the new colony. The colonists moved away to seek freedom and practice Christianity.
  • Age of Enlightment

    Age of Enlightment
    A cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that mobilized the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. Guttenburg press is the start of the age of enlightment.
  • Two treatises of government

    Two treatises of government
    A work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The first treatise defines the power of kings. The second treatise describes the rights of the civil people.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    An act passed by the England Parliament. It was the restated right that William and Mary presented in March 1689. It limits the powers of the government and lays out rights for the people.
  • Natural Rights

    Natural Rights
    A type of right theoritacally distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. They are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government
  • Spirit of Laws

    Spirit of Laws
    Published anonymously partly because Montesquieu's works were subject to censorship. Its influence outside Franch caused it to rapidly translate to other languages and the first U.S. copy was published on 1750. It lays out constitutionalism and the seperation of powers. This is where we got the 3 branches of government, Judicial, Ecxecutive, and Judicial.
  • Social Contract

    Social Contract
    A book issued by the French in 1762 which contains the best way to set up a political community. It was written by John Jocque Roussoue.
  • Continental Congress

    Continental Congress
    Consisted of 56 delegates from 12 out of 13 colonies. Their first convention consisted of talks about taxation.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    A pamphlet published anonymously in 1776. Thomas Phaine is the authour of this pamphlet. The pamphlet presented the american colonists the argument for freedom from the British by using common words.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The first written constitution plan of government of the United States of America. It also specified how the national government was to operate.