Early american government

Early American Government Revisited

  • Sep 17, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    King John was forced to sign this document because it limited his power. It allowed the formation of a parliament and became the basis for English citizens' rights.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    The Jamestown colony was the first permanent English settlement in America. The people who went were sponsored by the Virginia Company of London to go there and hopefully expand English trade and make a nice profit as well.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    This was the first written laws of the new settlers and was written for the general good of the community and with majority rule in mind. The Compact established that the new colony would be free of English law, the government would be set up within themselves, and laws would be written by the governed.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    This was a statement of civil liberites the English Parliament sent to King Charles I. It comprised of four major principles: no taxes could be levied without consent of Parliament, no one could be imprisoned without being told why, no one could be forced to house soldiers, and marital law could not be used in time of peace.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    The act described the abuses of power King James II took against the people of England, including trying to overturn the laws and customs of the country and do away with the Protestant religion. It also defined the agreement between Parliament and William of Orange should he take the throne.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    This was assembled by the British in an attempt to create a union of the thirteen colonies right before the French and Indian War. The main purpose was to keep the peace with Indians, but the British wanted to use the union as defense against the French.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    This act required colonists to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used, including legal documents, licenses, newspapers, and even playing cards. This made the people angry because this was a direct attempt by the English to raise money in America without consent of the colonial legislatures.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A group of British soldiers felt threaten by a group of about sixty colonists and opened fire. Eleven colonists were killed or injured that day and after that outrage and unity in America grew.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Colonists were angered by the British East India Company and their ridiculous tax on tea. That night a group of white men dressed as Indians crept onboard tea ships and dumped barrels of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The British passed these acts as a way to break the colonists spirits and bring them back under the king's rule. Only firewood and food were allowed into port, town meetings were banned, and the royal governor's power was increased.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Delegates elected by the people met in secret shortly after the passing of the Intolerable Acts. They wanted to show a combined authority against the British for the grievances they felt.
  • American Revolution

    American Revolution
    Conflict between the colonies and the British government led to skirmishes between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord, which kicked off the armed conflict. By the next summer they were engaged in a full-scale war for the colonists' independence.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    At this meeting, which occurred right after the battle of Lexington and Concord, they established the militia as the Continental Army to represent the thirteen states. They also elected George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    This document was written by Thomas Jeffereson in which he addressed the grievances of the American people because of the king's actions. This document sufficiently proclaimed America's independence from England, and started our nation.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    This was the first constitution of the United States. They gave most of the power to the individual states instead of to a central government.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shays' Rebellion
    After the American Revolution, farmers hit hard by economic depression and very much in debt, petitioned the state senate to print paper money and halt foreclosures on their properties. When they didn't, farmers following the lead of Daniel Shays forcibly stopped the courts from sitting and deliberating on judgments about their debts.
  • Philadelphia Convention/Constitutional Convention

    Philadelphia Convention/Constitutional Convention
    Our founding fathers met in Philadelphia to address the fact that our Articles of Confederation needed to be rewritten because the system wasn't working anymore. It was there that they discussed ideas for what should be included in our constiution, and ideas like the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, and the Connecticut Compromise were discussed.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    During the Philadelphia Convention, two suggestions were proposed: the Virginia Plan, which called for states to have representatives based on the state's population, and the New Jersey Plan, which called for each state to have the same number of representatives. This was the solution to the conflict which stated that an equal number of representatives would go to the Senate, while the number in the House of Representatives would be based on population.