US History & Government Study Guide I. Influence of Geography Explain the advantages of the following four geographic features of the United States of America.
Served as a way to move people & products.
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
great for trade along the coast & with Europe
Natural barrier—protection from foreign invasion
Breadbasket of America
Flat and easy to travel
Abundant Natural Resources
Tobacco, cotton, trees, crops, coal & oil
Developed into an economic powerhouse
Geography was the primary influence on colonial life. So were the practices brought from the homelands of the colonists. This divided the colonies into three major areas. Explain the main economic activities in the three colonial regions:
Government had the responsibility of protecting an individual’s rights and liberties, and if the government did not protect them, people had the right to overthrow or abolish the government.
Baron De Montesquieu - a French political analyst who lived during the Age of Enlightenment. He wrote The Spirit of Laws, which talked about the separation of powers.
Jean Jacques Rousseau - Rousseau argued that human beings are basically good by nature, but were corrupted by complex events in society.
Early Attempts at Self-Government
Ideals of Democracy
This was an agreement for the settlers on how to govern their colony. This was one of the first steps in American for self-government (democracy).
Virginia House of Burgesses
A law making assembly made up of representatives from the colony. This is the first instance of limited self-government in the English colonies.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
The framework for the government of the Connecticut colony from 1639-1662.
What was the Proclamation Line of 1763?
The proclamation forbade all settlers from settling past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains. It closed off the frontier to colonial expansion. The King and his council presented the proclamation as a measure to calm the fears of the Indians, who felt that the colonists would drive them from their lands as they expanded westward.
How did the Proclamation Line help to push the colonies toward war with Britain?
The colonists resented this and ignored the King’s rule, which pushed them toward war with
Causes of the Revolution – Explain how the following led to the American Revolution
Reversal of Salutary Neglect—An economic system of mercantilism still exists BUT the mother country (England) begins to relax economic control over the colonies equal to economic freedom = more $$$ POWER. When Britain tried to impose more rules and take control over the colonies again, the colonies were upset.
Raw materials are sold by the colony to the mother country (i.e. timber)
In return, mother country sells finished products back to the colony (i.e. desk
There are trade restrictions on the colonies selling to other countries.
Stamp Act and Intolerable Acts—This law placed a tax on newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, and most other printed materials. This was supposed to pay the cost of keeping British troops in America. The Stamp Act and Intolerable Acts angered the colonists and caused them to renew boycotts and to call to the people of all the English colonies to arm themselves and form militias.
“No Taxation without Representation”— because the colonies didn’t have representation in the British Parliament, they felt the British had not right to force laws on the colonies. Therefore they used this argument to protest the Sugar Act.
Discuss three ideas the government expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
The people have self-evident truths: All men are created equal and they have certain unalienable rights.
The three unalienable rights are: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
The government derives its “just powers” from the =consent of the governed.
Explain the main ideas of each piece of literature by Thomas Paine and how each one influenced the American Revolution.
Thomas Paine (1776) wrote Common Sense a 47-page pamphlet which discussed the Revolution. It convinced many readers to support a complete break with Great Britain. The Crisis were pamphlets that were written in a language that the common man could understand, and represented Paine's philosophy.
Articles of Confederation
Successful conclusion of the American Revolution
Negotiated the Treaty of Paris
Passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which set a pattern of how new states could join the nation. It also did not allow slavery in the Northwest Territory
strong state governments and a weak central (national, federal) government