Kailey Lyson4th hourCh. 3 The Roots of American DemocraciesNotes3.1 Intro KL ●On July 4, 1976, Americans celebrated their nation's 200th birthday. ●Two centuries earlier, the United States of America had come into being with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In 1776●In 1976, President Gerald Ford marked the bicentennial with a speech in Philadelphia, where the Declaration was signed●Eleven years later, on September 17, 1987, Americans celebrated another bicentennial—this timeto commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution.●Americans that they live in a country that is held together not by blood or history, but by ideas.3.2 Ideas That Shaped Colonial Views on Government KL -The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are among the most important political documents ever written. -Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison—were among the mostcreative political thinkers of their time. -They were influenced by political ideas and ethical teachings that had roots in ancient times●The Religious and Classical Roots of Colonial ideas about Government-Colonial thinkers were strongly influenced by the ethical ideas shared by the Judeo-Christian religious traditions.-influenced by the concept of natural law. This was the belief that there exists, beyond the framework of human laws, a universal set of moral principles that can be applied to any culture or system of justice- A human law that violated natural law, many colonists believed, was unjust and should be changed.- From the Greek city-state of Athens came the tradition of direct democracy, or decision making by all citizens. Direct democracy took root in New England's town meetings, where citizens gathered to discuss and solve their local problems.From the Roman Republic came the idea of republicanism, or representative government, which refers to decision making by officials elected from the citizenry.Many colonists also admired the Roman idea of civic virtue. They understood this to mean a willingness to serve one's country.●The English Roots of American Government-colonists eventually rebelled against British rule, they had great respect for English common law and Britain's constitutional system.-system was based on a set of laws, customs, and practices that limited the powers of government and guaranteed the people certain basic rights.- tradition of English rights was based on three key documents: the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, and the English Bill of Rights. -Magna Carta defined the rights and duties of English nobles and set limits on the monarch's power. -The Petition of Right underscored the principle of limited government by affirming that the king's power was not absolute.
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