Democracy developed in Colonial America from 1607, at the founding of Jamestown, up to 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Democracy is defined as a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. Ideas from documents created in England, such as the Bill of Rights, were brought over to the colonies. These ideas were implemented into the society of the colonists. The colonists also created their own democratic documents and ideas.
In the making of the United States, there were many events that are important. This paper intends to highlight a few of those events including; Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Federalist Papers. Many events in America’s history helped to establish the United States as a free and independent country. The Declaration of Independence in particular explains the rights and freedoms that Americans. Each document is like a stepping stones that leads to the next and building upon the pervious document.
Let me state my main point of this paper, and that is, effective citizenship entails so many things and the true meaning of a “good citizen” differs from person to person and from time to time. In this paper I will share with you how the idea of effective citizenship varies according to person and time and my personal beliefs on what is effective citizenship. As an American citizen I have a responsibility to this country as a citizen. I also have rights because I am a citizen of this country. Firstly, as stated above, being a citizen of America entitles me to certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Jefferson, 352).
It is the beginning of the United States of America in many, if not all, forms. Because of the Declaration of Independence, the United States of America was able to form a strong and lasting form of government from its start. Beginning in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was accepted, America was free of the foreign power of Great Britain, however, in 1787 when the United States of America Constitution was ratified America began abiding by the form of government Americans had long awaited. Because of the Declaration of Independence, America had, has and will always have a strong governmental foundation.
. The Virginia House of Burgesses, the Mayflower Compact, New England town meetings, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were all early stepping stones toward a truly democratic government. These documents and organizations may not have been what we perceive, today, as being democratic, but they were a start. The first permanent English settlement was a trading post founded in 1607 at Jamestown in the Old Dominion of Virginia. Virginian colonists had the right, granted to them by The Virginia Company, to elect a colonial legislature, called the House of Burgesses.
The Constitution A case for the connection of America's colonial and revolutionary religious and political experiences to the basic principles of the Constitution can be readily made. One point in favor of this conclusion is the fact that most Americans at that time had little beside their experiences on which to base their political ideas. This is due to the lack of advanced schooling among common Americans at that time. Other points also concur with the main idea and make the theory of the connection plausible. Much evidence to support this claim can be found in the wording of the Constitution itself.
The John Peter Zenger trial is a prime example of how a trial established a well-known statute of freedom of the press. The General School Act of 1647 was the origin of modern education laws and the Maryland Toleration Act was the basis for freedom of religion. These, however, were not the first step towards democracy. The Virginia House of Burgesses, the Mayflower Compact, New England town meetings, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were all early stepping-stones toward a truly democratic government. The early governing bodies in the colonies such as the House of Burgesses were all based on a written constitution.
In the fairly short historical life of America, It has expanded its ideas of independence to a much larger realm of equality and liberty. Every generation of American has had an ideal of what independence is because they are living in the land that was founded on it. Today the remnants of the Virginia and New England models of independence can still be found, however its offspring of American culture is the dominant lasting ideal of independence in America.
The royal charters issued to colonists, were the king 's declaration to the colonists of their rights and responsibilities to him. The colonists typically drafted a compact or covenant, such as the Mayflower Compact, an agreement among themselves, defining how they would govern themselves in accordance with the royal charters. Because the British practiced salutary neglect, the colonists were able to set their own course for independent development. While technically under the authority of the British crown and crown-appointed governors, the American colonies developed very independent-minded legislatures which passed laws for their own governance. The assembly, or lower house of the legislature, represented the people’s interest and was elected by them.
America as we know it includes a vast network of representative governments. During the colonial period of early America, Virginia was the first to introduce a representative assembly. This first glimpse of democracy influenced the shape of America today. It eventually caused the colonies to drift away from monarchial England, and to establish a democratic government. Ironically, from this government, slavery and racism sprouted.