Road to the Constitution

  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta (Great Charter)

    Magna Carta (Great Charter)
    The Magna Carta was a document signed by England's King John in Runnymede that put King John and all future sovereigns under a rule of law. This charter of liberties said that no freeman could be punished except through the law of the land. It also said that the King's powers are not arbitrary. It granted many people freedom from oppression. This picture here depicts the Magna Carta (part of it).
  • Mayflower Compact

    This document was written to prevent dissent among non-separist Pilgrims and Puritans. It was signed by 41 colonists just a few days after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth and is known as the first written framework of government in the area.
  • Petition of Rights

    The Petition of Rights was a major English constitutional document that sets out the specific liberties of the people that the king can not interfere with. Under this petition, the people were granted the rights to no taxes without the consent from Parliament and no imprisonment without a shown cause. Soldiers could not be put into private homes, and martial law could not be used in times of peace as well. This document was signed by King Charles I.
  • English Bill of Rights

    The English Bill of Rights were written as an act of Parliament to limit the power of the crown. They also gave specific rights to the people such as freedom of speech (of Parliament), right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution, and no excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishments. They also said that people were allowed to have arms for defense.

    This website has information on the English Bill of Rights and on the American Bill of Rights and the American Constitution.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    The Albany Plan of Union was drafted by Benjamin Franklin as a way to unite the British colonies under a more centralized government. The plan was never carried out. The picture here depicts a very popular political cartoon created by Benjamin Franklin. This cartoon shows a snake cut up into many pieces, with each piece representing a different colony.
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    French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War is what the North American side of the Seven Years War is called. Some major players in this conflict include Great Britain, France, many Indian tribes, and the colonies. Some major battles are takeover of Ft. Duquesne, Battle of Quebec, massacre at Ft. William Henry, etc. The British won this conflict; however, it sparked the beginning of hostilities between the British and the colonists. Many colonists were angry because they were not allowed to fight the French.
  • Creation of the Constitution Video

    video The video includes how the US Constitution came to be. It begins with the creation of the Articles of Confederation, and the problems that arose from the articles. It also includes Shay's Rebellion and the Constitutional Convention, both very important events that factored in to the creation of the Constitution. Lastly, it discusses the signing of the Constitution and also the ratification of it.
  • King George III takes power

    King George III takes power
    After the French and Indian War, King George III saw the situation in North America as being somewhat out of control. To fix this, he sent a standing Army and taxed the colonies to pay for said army. This sudden loss of freedom angered many colonist and turned them against the British empire. This is a picture of King George III.
  • Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act was imposed by the British Parliament where the people were forced to pay a tax on any printed paper. This included pamphlets, books, newspapers, and even playing cards. The British did this in order to raise money without the approval of colonial legislature.The colosnial leaders reacted immediately, showing disapproval. There were mobs and crowds as well, which showed their resistance to this act.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre occured when British soldiers fired on protesting colonists. The soldiers were there to enfore the Townshend Acts of 1767. 5 colonists were killed and others were injured. This picture shows the British soldiers firing on the colonists.

    This website has a lot of information regarding the Boston Tea Party and many other events and details of the pre-revolutionary time period.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The Boston Tea Party was organized by a group called the Sons of Liberty. The colonists who participated dressed up as Native Americans and dumped hundreds of boxes of British tea into the Boston harbor. The British responded harshly by closing the Boston port and placing laws known as the Coercive Acts. This event caused many British politicians to unite agains the colonies.
    This picture depicts the event.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    if he thought they would not receive a fair trial, the government in the Massachussets Bay was better regulated, British soldiers were to be housed in American barracks and public houses, and a public government in Canada was created. This is a photo of the colonies being punished for the Boston Tea Party and for disobeying the new acts.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The Intolerable Acts were a series of acts imposed by the British in order to punish the colonies for all of the money they wasted from the Boston Tea Party. These acts included the Boston Port Act, Administration of Justice Act, Massachussetts Government Act, Quartering Act, and the Quebec Act. Under these laws, the Boston port was closed, the governor of Massachussetts was allowed to move the trials of royal officials if he thought they would not receive a fair trial,
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    First Continental Congress

    Delegates from 12 colonies (all but Georgia) got together on this day in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia to show combined authority to Great Britain. Major perzonalities that were in attendance include Colo. George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Endmund Pendelton, etc. A boycott on British goods was established as a result of this meeting.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Lexington and Concord was the first battle of the Revolutionary War, and it took place in Massachussetts. The British moved from Boston to Lexington and Concord to seize the colonists' military gunpowder and arrest revolutionaries. The first shot is known as, "the shot heard around the world," and these battles are known to have started the Revolutionary War. The major generals involved wefre William Howe, Henry Clinton, "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, and Thomas Gage for the British; and Captain
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    John Parker and Colonel James Barrett for the colonists. Paul Revere was one of the horseback men who warned the colonists about the British coming. This is a photo of Paul Revere riding horseback in order to warn the colonies that the British were coming.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress was a group of delegates that met in Philadelphia in order to discuss how the colonists would meet the military threat of the Britisih, the creation of an army, how supplies would be paid for, who would be the commander, and other important issues. Some of the colonial leaders involved were Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. Ths is a photo of the leaders meeting for the Second Continental Congress to discuss important issues.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. It was a fundamental document that established the United States as a nation. It included three main parts: statements of intent such as "all men are created equal" that outline the basic principles of the leaders, a list of grievances explaining why the colonies need independence, and a complete dissolution of the ties with Britain. This is a photo of Thomas Jefferson writing the Declaration of Independence.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Under the Articles of Confederation, John Hansen would be the first president. There were both successes and failures of the articles. Three sucesses were that they brought the states together, a Congress was established, and war and peace were made. Three failures were that there was no national court system to protect the rights of citizens, there was no executive branch to enforce laws, and the national government could not regulate trade or impose taxes.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris finally ended the American Revolutionary War and granted the thirteen colonies independence. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay represented the United States in the signing of the Treaty of Paris. All land from the Great Lakes to Florida and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi became United States territory, now known as the Northwest Territory. The British finally recognized the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Treaty of Paris

    The Treaty of Paris
    Declaration of Independence. This is a photo of the delegates that met in order to sign the Treaty of Paris.
  • Start of Constitutional Convention

    The Constitutional Convention was originally made to revise the Articles of Confederation in order to fix the flaws and make a stronger government. Delegates met wanting to change the articles and strengthen them, but instead they ended up creating the Constitution that provided the government with more specific powers.