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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Constructing a Government The...

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Chapter 2: Constructing a Government: The Founding and the Constitution No Taxation without Representation People of every nation tend to glorify their own history Governments encourage a heroic view of the nation’s past as a way of promoting national pride/unity 1 st principle of politics is that all political behavior has a purpose First Founding: Interests and Conflicts American revolution and the constitution were expressions of a struggle among economic and political forces within the colonies There were 5 sectors that were imp in colonial politics o New England merchants (elite) o Southern planters (elite) o Royalists—holders of royal land, offices, & patents (elite) o Shopkeepers, artisans, laborers o Small farmers Groups were in conflict over issues of taxation, trade, and commerce After 1750 british tax/trade policies split the colonial elite o Permitted radicals to expand their political influence o set motion that culminated to the US revolution British Taxes and Colonial Interests beg in 1750s debts/problems faced the british gov o needed to find new revenue sources Colonies o 1760s they imposed new most taxes stamp/sugar act greatly affected merchants and southern planters sought to organize opposition to the new taxes “No taxation w/o representation” Organized demonstration Boycotted Forced the crown to abolish most taxes o Despite efforts to amend it was hard to end the political strife radicals asserted that the British were unjust o began to advocate end of British rule Collective Action colonists required strong leaders to resolve differences and organize resistance to British authority Political Strife and the Radicalizing of the Colonists Boston Tea Party 1773 o Decisive importance in American history o Merchants wanted British to rescind the tea act o They still didn’t seek independence o Radicals wanted to provoke British to alienate colonists to pave way for rebellion Purpose of the Boston tea party succeeded o Set into motion cycle of provocations that led to the first continental congress o Colonists began to consider the possibility of independence from British rule The Declaration of Independence Written by Jefferson Adopted by the second continental congress Asserted that the “unalienable rights” could not be abridged by governments o Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness Despite differences of interest it identified and focused on problems, grievances, and principals that might unify colonial groups
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An attempt to forge national unity The Articles of Confederation America’s first written constitution Adopted by the continental congress in 1777 & lasted till 1789 Concerned with limiting the powers of the central gov—Congress No executive branch States had the only right to execute laws Congress had very little power Each state had one vote Powers of Congress o Declare war and make peace o
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