Foundations of American Government

FL Standards Covered:
SS.7.C.1.1 Recognize how Enlightenment ideas including Montesquieu’s view of separation of power and John Locke’s theories related to natural law and how Locke’s social contract influenced the Founding Fathers.
SS.7.C.1.2 Trace the impact that the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” had on colonists’ views of government.
SS.7.C.1.3 Describe how English policies and responses to colonial concerns led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
SS.7.C.1.4 Analyze the ideas (natural rights, role of the government) and complaints set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

Learning Goals: (Students should be able to explain these understandings to you as part of studying.)

We will understand how Locke and Montesquieu’s ideas impact the setup of our government.  SS.7.C.1.1
We will understand the impact that the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” had on colonists’ views of govt.   SS.7.C.1.2
We will understand how English policies and responses to colonial concerns led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  SS.7.C.1.3
We will understand and analyze the ideas (natural rights, role of govt) and complaints set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  SS.7.C.1.4

Textbook pages (additional [at home] reading as needed):
Chapter 4, pgs. 81-112

Key Terms: Parliament, common law, colony, charter, compact, contract, abolish, independence, delegates, boycott, repeal, confederation, limited monarchy, limited government, self-government, oppression, self-evident, tyranny, natural rights, natural law, government, liberty, state of nature, social contract, life, rights, monarch, sovereign, banish, unalienable rights, just powers, consent of the governed, self-evident, goal (British), principle, ideal, Preamble, limited government, individual rights, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and balances, debt, ordain, taxation, representation, Boston Tea Party, British policies, English policies, Boston Tea Party, Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, Common Sense, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, equality, alter, abolish, grievances, unalienable rights, rule of law, due process

Questions to be able to answer:
Who were some of the Enlightenment thinkers that influenced the Founding Fathers?
What were some influences from the Enlightenment thinkers?
In which U.S. documents can we see these influences?
How are the concept of social contract and the purpose of government related?
How did these documents influence colonists’ views of government: Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense?  What big idea comes from each?
How did English colonial policies lead to the writing of the Declaration of Independence?  What were colonists’ big concerns?
Describe the structure of the 4 sections of the Declaration of Independence and summarize each. In your summary, analyze the ideas and complaints expressed in it.

Links for further reading and exploration of the concept:
(To clarify, these links provide curious students with more information.  More information can help us understand a topic better.  These links are not intended to be memorized for our test.)

Class Assignments:
Read about Locke and Montesquieu’s influences on the founding documents of our country.  Analyze pieces from the Declaration of Independence and connect it to Locke’s ideas.

Homework Links: