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Terms in this set (72)

• Proclamation of 1763. Its purpose was to reduce tensions between the colonists and Native Americans. If the settlers wanted to expand, they could not.
• Sugar Act of 1764. The purpose of the law was to stop the smuggling of goods into and out of the colonies. It required for certain products to be shipped to Britain. And the law sets taxes of cloth, sugar, coffee, and wine coming into the countries.
• Stamp Act of 1765. It imposed a tax on every legal document, newspaper, pamphlet, and deck of cards coming into the colonies. This could effect the colonies because if the colonies needed a document, and could not pay, they would not be able to have access to the what ever they needed.
• Quartering act, 1765. It requires colonist who were innkeepers of public officials to house and feed the British soldiers. This could prevent Natural Rights to the people, and interfere in their household life.
• Declaratory Act, of 1766. It stated that the parliament had the right to grant and pass all laws for all the colonies in "all cases whatsoever" the purpose was to remind the colonists that the authority of the king and Parliament was superior to colonial governments. It was an advantage to the colonies, passing whatever law, but it did tell them that their government was not as great as the Parliament.
• Tea Act of 1773. The purpose was to keep the East India Company from going broke. This company sold tea to the colonies. This is good to the colonies because if they get their tea from a company the company cant get broke, because that's where one of the colonies sources come from.
• Natural rights and higher law. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens to life, liberty, and property. Each state constitution was a higher law that everyone had to obey.
• Social contract. Each state made it clear that it believed that government is formed as a social contract. The people agreed to form a government to protect their natural rights.
• Popular sovereignty. The term sovereign means to have the highest authority or power. Popular sovereignty means that the people are the highest authority. All the states adopted the idea that the people are the source of the authority of government. The people delegate their authority to government. Government gets its right to govern from the people.
• Representation. Each state considered it very important that the legislature be made up of elected representatives of the people. In most states, the right to vote was limited to white men who owned property. About seventy percent of the white men in America owned enough property to be able to vote. In contrast, only about ten percent were eligible to vote in Great Britain.
• Separation of powers. All the states used some form of separation of powers. They divided government into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
• Checks and balances. Although the states favored a strong legislature, the constitutions did provide for some checks. Most of the checks were within the legislatures them- selves. Most legislatures had two houses. Each house could check the power of the other. The people also could check the power of the legislatures. The voters could elect new representatives to both houses if they did not like the way the government was working.
• Legislative supremacy. The major- ity of the states set up governments in which most of the power was given to the legislature. This system of government is known as legislative supremacy. The Founders believed that because the people elected the legislature, it was the most democratic branch of government. They were afraid of giving too much power to the executive branch. They remembered how the royal governors and the king had abused their power. So most of the state governors were given very limited power.
Congress had no way to make people obey its laws. For example, at the end of the Revolutionary War Congress signed a treaty with Great Britain. In the treaty, Congress promised to respect the rights of the Loyalists and ensure that they were treated fairly. Some state governments refused to respect the treaty. Those states refused to return property they had taken away from the Loyalists. These states also refused to force payment of money owed to the Loyalists before the start of the war. Thus, the national govern- ment was unable to live up to its promise to the British.
• Congress could not make the states live up to trade agreements with other nations. Sometimes citizens imported goods from other countries and then refused to pay for them. This made people in foreign countries unwilling to trade with the United States. Many Americans lost money because they could not sell their goods to people in other nations.
• Congress had no power to regulate trade among the states. Congress had no power to make laws regulating trade among the states. States taxed goods going from one state to another. Trading often became impossible. Business slowed down and people lost their jobs.
• Citizens thought that their property rights were threatened. Many people believed that the states were not protecting the property rights of their citizens. Some people in the states had formed factions to promote their own interests at the expense of the common good. These factions with special interests became the majority in some state legislatures. People accused the factions of making laws to benefit themselves while ignoring the property rights of the minority. For example, they passed laws that canceled debts for those who were members of the faction and other laws that confiscated the property of people who had been Loyalists. People who were hurt by such laws argued that the states were not protecting the property of all citizens. Many people thought that a strong national government was needed to protect property rights.