Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

  • ​1639
  • Rule of Law for CT
  • ​Writing of it directly influenced by Thomas Hooker
  • ​First Constitution in the New World

Virginia House of Burgesses

  • ​1619
  • Members were elected by the people
  • ​First representative government in the new world

Mayflower Compact

  • ​1620
  • Agreement among Pilgrim men
  • Established self government
  • ​Not a Constitution
  • ​Royal Governors reported to Monarch
  • ​Allowed to create own self government

English Treatment of the Colonies

  • ​Were English citizens but had no representation in Parliament

Does it matter

  • ​The King still has the ultimate authority

Magna Carta

  • 1215
  • Gave basic rights to free English citizens
  • ​Included idea of Trial by Jury


  • ​Elected officials who represent the people and make laws
  • A Representative government system that the colonists were used to

He is... the most interesting King in the World.

Colonial Government

To Know Who You Are and who you want to be

  • ​William Penn also created a colonial legislature which limited the government in Pennsylvania

  • ​All 13 colonies develop their own governments
  • ​All are self governing
  • All are representative governments
  • All Write constitutions
  • ​These are the Foundations of American Government Today

English Tradition

  • ​Wanted colonies to be like England
  • ​Far away difficult to control
  • ​Develop their own culture and identity
  • ​Salutary Neglect - King and Parliament ignored the colonies and allowed them to do their own thing

English Bill of Rights

  • 1689 
  • ​Gave more power to Parliament

English Documents

  • Influenced Colonial Government


  • Only power is to vote for Parliament members or run to be one (only wealthy white men)

English Government

  • ​Controlled by a Monarch (King or Queen)
  • ​Has ultimate authority
  • ​Uses military to enforce law

Other Influences

  • ​European Enlightenment philosophers Montesquieu and Locke greatly influenced colonial leaders with their ideas about freedom and Rights
  • Enlightenment was a shift to thinking about freedom and rights as well as science and reasoning

Slaves and Free Blacks in the Colonies

  • ​Neither could vote