The History of our Democracy

  • Jan 1, 1100


    Monarchs (kings and queens) rule but noble families gained power through land in exchange for loyalty, tax money, and military support.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1100 to

    Our English Heritage

  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    nobles force King John who was treating them harshley, to sign a document
    -limited power of monarch-no one could be above the law
    -everyone would get equal treatment under the law
    -trial by ones peers
  • Jan 1, 1300

    1300s Parliament

    1300s the next king develops a group that represents common people-Parliament
  • 1600s-1700s English Colonies in America

    -accept common law
    -no ruler is above the law (just like in Magna Carta and in Glorious Revolution)
    -should have basic rights protected
    -should have a voice in government
  • 1619 House of Burgesses (Virginia)

    -1st representative assembly/legislature in English colonies
  • 1620 Mayflower Compact

    -established direct democracy
  • *John Locke 1632-1704

    -people are born free, equal, and independent
    -born with natural rights to life, liberty (freedom), and property that no government could take away
    -government must maintain social contact
    -people give up part of their freedom in exchange for protection of natural rights
    The first man who influenced our government structure
    *His ideas were cornerstones of Declaration of Independence and Constitution
  • 1639 Fundamental Order of Connecticut

    -1st written constitution in America
    -assembly of elected representatives from each town to make laws
    -popular election of governor and judges
  • 1641 Massachusets Body of Liberties

    -first legal code established by European colonists in New England
    -compiled by the Puritan minister Nathaniel Ward
    -the laws were established by the Massachusetts General Court
  • 1683 Pennslyvania Frame of Government and 1701 PA Charter of Privledges

    -establish basis of US Constitution and Bill of Rights
    Colonists believed egalitarianism-equality
    Part of this was the belief that colonists had all traditional rights of native English people
  • 1688 Glorious Revolution

    Parliament removes King John III and replaces him with his daughter Mary and her husband William
    -from this time on, no ruler would have more power than Parliament
  • 1689 English Bill of Rights

    -further restricted monarchs power
    -guaranteed free elections to Parliament
    -right to a fair trial *like in our bill of rights
    -eliminated cruel and unusual punishments
  • *Baron de Montesquieu 1689-1755

    -divide branches of government into different parts to balance each other out so no one can become too strong
    Third man who influenced hot government structure
    *His ideas are cornerstones to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (like Locke)
  • Enlightenment Period

    -Locke and Montesquieu were Enlightenment thinkers
    -believed God had created an orderly universe
    -the laws of the universe could be discovered through the use of human reason
    -laws that govern nature also applied to human life and society
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778

    -wrote the Social Contarct
    -people alone have the right to determine how they should be governed
    Second man to influence our government structure
  • Mid 1700s

    -colonists are not feeling they had rights of native English people because of taxes and limitations
    -they had been self-sufficient, representative government for 100+ years
    -me turning back or stopping now-we'll have to fight for independence
  • 1754 Albany Plan of Union

    -1st discussion of colonies for union against British government
  • Proclamation of 1763

    -can't live on land west of Applachian mountains so as not to stir up the native Americans
  • 1765 Stamp Act

    -tax on all paper goods
  • 1765 Quarting Act

    -colonists must provide barracks and supplies to British troops
  • 1766 Stamp Act and Declaratory Act

    -Stamp Act repealed
    -established Declaratory Act-Parliament has the right to tax and make decisions for American colonies in all cases
  • 1767 Townshend Acts

    -allowed British government customs officers to enter anywhere
    suspected of smuggling (because many colonists were doing this because of taxes and boycotting)
  • 1770 Boston Massacre

  • 1770 Boston Massacre

  • 1773 Tea Act

    -British could ship tea to the colonies without a tax making it cheaper to buy than colonial tea
  • 1773 Boston Tea Party

  • 1774 Philadelphia

    -First Continental Congress-write to King George III-we demand you to restore our rights as British citizens
  • 1775 Battle at Lexington and Concord

    -1st battle of American Revolution
  • 1775 Second Continental Congress Meets

  • 1776 Thomas Paine "Common Sense" published

    -moved many undecided colonists toward the belief that independence was the only course of action
  • 1776 Declaration of Independence written

    -list of complaints against king
    -beliefs about independence rights
    -pulled from ideas of Locke and Montesquieu