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English Influenece - Acts and Bills

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Timeline #1 Englands Influence

The Magna Carta

Summary of Event

Several barons of England were upset with King Johns ruling and decided to pressure him to sign the Magna Carta which was a written agreement that took some of the power away from the king and gave it to the people.

Political Significance of Event

This was an important event because it made sure that the king was held to laws too. It also established some important principles that we can find in our own constitution, such as due process.

Glorious Revolution

The glorious revolution was when the people of England did not like King James II because he was limiting their freedoms so they asked William the III of Orange-Nassau to be king. William did dethrone James and became king in a joint Monarchy with his wife Mary.

The significance of this is it changed the power of the king from an Absolute Monarchy to a Constitutional Monarchy which limited the power of the king and gave most of the power to the parliament. The Glorious Revolution also lead to the Bill of Rights 1689 which lead to many other documents being made after it that were like it such as United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Bill of Rights also sewed the idea into the minds of the Colonists that rebellion was possible.

Petition of Right

The petition of right was a document that was made because the king of England had angered the parliamentary. They set up this document so that the king couldn't do things like tax things without the approval of the parliament.

This was a significant document because it set up rules that are mimicked in some of the U.S. amendments, and is still in use around the world today in Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. It is considered of equal importance to the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689.

Habeas Corpus Act

This was an act passed in England that gave rights to prisoners who had committed certain crimes. It was passed so that the prisoners would get fairer treatment than they were getting.

The effect this had was it gave more detailed laws on when a prisoner could retrial their case and prisoner transfers. These laws influenced the American Bill of Rights.

English Bill of Rights

It laid down the limits of power of the king and set rights and rules of Parliament, and other rights such as the right to petition without fear of retribution.

The Declaration of Independance was directly influenced by the Bill of Rights. It is still in effect in commonwealth towns.

Timeline #2 Bringing It to America

Great Law of Peace

It was an oral constitution by which the Iroquois were bound. The Iroquois were a group of 6 Native American Nations. The date on which it was first written is disputed but are generally around 1100 AD to 1400 AD.

It is said to have influenced Benjamin Franklin with its democratic ideals. How much it influenced the U.S. Constitution is disputed because there are several large differences.

Virginia Charters

This was a document from King James issuing rights to the american colonists that they could “enjoy the natural resources” of the colonies for the purpose of spreading Christianity.

This was important because the charters extended English rights to the colonists. It also allowed them to start companies in the New World.

House of Burgesses

The House of Burgesses was the first legislative assembly of elected representatives in America. It was created by the Virginia Company in order to make the colonies more appealing to craftsmen who would make life in America easier.

While England was in civil war they didn't have time or resources to govern Virginia so the House of Burgesses took over. They ended up appointing the governor and his council making them very powerful. Eventually England saw this and sent people over to try and decrease their power, which they did successfully. It proved that The colonists could govern themselves.

Mayflower Compact

It was basically a social contract which the settlers of the Mayflower agreed to follow the rules of the compact for the sake of order and survival.

The contract was extremely important because it contained important ideas. It established a social contract within the community of colonists and formed a government that the people all agreed to.

Bacon’s Rebellion

It was an armed rebellion lead by Nathaniel Bacon against the governor of Virginia who was not allowing trade. It contained people of all classes. The burned down the city.

Its effect was that if frightened the Virginia government with the thought of civil war which no one was happy about since the English civil war was still fresh in everyone's mind. So they took extreme measures in the punishment of the perpetrators in order to make sure that there is no civil war.

Timeline #3 Events that Lead to Revolution

French and Indian War

This was a war between the French and British, both of which had Indian allies. It was a dispute over the control of Prussia. France ended up surrendering everything east of the Mississippi to keep its two islands in the caribbean. It kept the islands because they were valuable to the French sugar trade.

The war put Britain in a large debt. They decided to get out of debt by heavily taxing the colonies. This of course lead to the colonists being angry with the British government.

Stamp Act

The stamp act was a direct tax on the colonies as stated above. It was a tax on many printed materials to be taxed. The tax was set in place to pay for the British troops located in the area, which were stationed there because of the previous French and Indian War. The taxes had to be paid with valid English currency not the colonial currency. This made the colonist very mad because they felt that they didn’t need the troops stationed there because there was no enemy



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