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 Direct Democracy  Republic  Natural Rights  Separation of Powers


Roots of Americas Government Unit Essential Question: How were American political rights and institutions derived from philosophies of the past? Lesson Essential Question: How were historical documents, philosophers, writers, and ancient societies used in the development of our system of government? Direct Democracy Republic Natural Rights Separation of Powers Is borrowing a good thing to do/or is borrowing a bad thing to do? Explain Why would borrowing ideas be a good way to create a government? What kind of things might a new government borrow from other governments as far as ideas? John Adams (What was he famous for?) Once said: Let us study the law of nature; search into the spirit of the British constitution;think about the great examples of Greece and Rome; set before us the conduct of our own British ancestors. With a partner, read over the quote above, and with your partner try and figure out what John Adams was trying to say. Write down the quote into your own words to describe what he is saying. Using the Documents that Shaped Law and Government Handout fill in each column with ideas on how each item influenced the forming of Americas Government. You will be told at certain points to look in your book to see how a person, group of people, or document influenced American Government, write down the answer in the handout. The Greeks created the first direct democracy. (First True Government) Government were citizens made laws. Aristotle-a Greek writer said politics and government are like a living organism, with many parts that cannot survive individually. Page 91, how did direct democracy influence American colonists? Romans took direct democracy and changed it by starting a republic. In a republic, citizens had to be elected, this stopped bad citizens from making bad laws. (Did not work) Page 91: How did American colonists use the Romans example in the colonial governments? Death of Julius Caesar Why Kill Caesar? Any similarities between then and now? Any differences between then and now? English citizens took ideas from Athens and Rome and used them in their government. (Just like American Colonists did) In England: kings, princes, and dukes ruled. Rulers had complete control and no one to challenge them. In America: English king ruled with complete control. In 1215 English citizens took the first steps towards personal freedom by limiting the kings power. We Are ThemThey Are Us You will now read about the Magna Carta itself and how it has impacted other government documents and government itself. Read over Explore More-The Magna Carta and Its Influence on History and answer the questions at the end of the reading assignment. Turn to page 697, read over the Magna Carta and Mayflower Compact individually. As you read, pick out important things that they are trying to say through each document and write them in your own words. For the Magna Carta, put down three facts in your own words on how it protected citizens rights. For the Mayflower Compact, write down two reasons why the Compact was created. Once finished, turn to page 93 and list three ways in which the English Bill of Rights protected citizens. The English people forced the king to sign the Magna Carta. Document which listed certain rights that even the king could not take away. Final Step: loss of rulers power. Done through the creation of the English Bill of Rights which gave all citizens more rights. (Everyone must obey the law, fair trial, jury) American colonists knew their rights under the English Bill of Rights and they knew that the king was taking away their rights. Documents were not the only things that Americans used. European writers wrote that all people have the power to think, and that they have natural rights or rights they are born with and cannot be taken away. John Locke argued that representation allowed citizens full control in government, and that any abusive government should be overthrown. (Violently if needed) All these things would be used by American colonists, especially separation of powers where power would be divided within the government. Pursuit of Happiness Life Freedom (Liberty) American colonists and leaders knew that if the new government had full power, abuse of power would follow. So splitting up the power would stop power abuse. Separation of Powers Aristotle- government must work with the citizens. Direct Democracy- citizens can make laws, but they must go through the government. Republic- citizens vote for people to represent them in the government. Magna Carta/Bill of Rights- rights that all citizens have are listed in American Bill of Rights. Natural Rights- American Government protects all rights people are born with. Separation of Power- American Government is split into three parts, all with separate power. Looking back on what the American colonists borrowed from Greece, Rome, and England what specific race(s) of people were American colonists excluding from having their rights protected in the future? List as many as you can think of. With the races that you listed, are their rights protected better today? Why/Why Not? Explain.