Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - By about 1650 all of the colonies had...

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By about 1650 all of the colonies had established elective assemblies, which eventually gained the authority to initiate laws and levy taxes. The British appointed governors, colonial councils, and judges in ost colonies, and some of these officials vigorously resisted the expansion of local prerogatives. The most aggressive challenge to home rule came in 1765 with passage of the Stamp Act. This law imposed a tax on all printed materials, including legal documents, licenses, insurance papers, and land titles, as well as a variety of consumer goods, including newspapers and playing cards. The most significant actions taken by The First Continental Congress were adoption of a Declaration of American Rights, which essentially reasserted home rule, and endorsement of an agreement to ban all trade with Britain until it rescinded the despised taxes and regulations. Congress’s first action was to instruct the conventions to reconstitute themselves as state governments based on republican principles, which all promptly did. Using their former colonial governments as a model, most states adopted bicameral ( two-chamber) legislatures. As its name states, the first American constitution created a confederation, a highly decentralized governmental system in which the national government derives limited authority from the states rather than directly from citizens. Not only do the states select officials of the national government, but they also retain authority to override that government’s decisions. The collective action problems were evident in America’s war effort underneath
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Chapter 2 - By about 1650 all of the colonies had...

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