Thirteen American Colonies

Taylor Jordan

Magna Carta - 1215

The Magna Carta is the first written document that allows the protection of individual rights. It promises not to take away any free man's property or to imprison any free man without following the laws of the land. Another name for Magna Carta is The "Great Charter." The cost of the Magna Carta is over 15 million dollars.

1. How did the Magna Carta influence American government?

It served to inspire and justify action in liberty's defense. The colonists believed that they were privileged to the same rights as the English, the rights in Magna Carta. They established those rights into their states and later in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

2. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution

English Bill of Rights - 1689

The English Bill of Rights came before the U.S Constitution Bill of Rights. It was written as a law making body. This condition was accepted by the King and Queen. The Bill of Rights asserted that Englishmen had certain civil and political rights, and religious liberty was limited: Catholics were banned from the throne and the King and Queen had to maintain the official religion of England. Unless the Parliament gave permission, monarchs could not act as judges themselves and many more punishments. These protections are the roots of those in the United States Bill of Rights and most of the first

1. What is the significance of the English Bill of Rights?

The English Bill of Rights is an English forgoer of the U.S Constitution Bill of Rights.

2. What influence did the English Bill of Rights have on our government?

The influence on our government were the protections of the First, Second , Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and eighth Amendments.

Virginia House of Burgesses - 1619

The first legislature anywhere in the English colonies. This was the House of Burgesses, and it met on July 30, 1619 at a church in Jamestown, Virginia. The first order was to sent to set the minimum price for tobacco. The House of Burgesses soon became a symbol of representative government. The House of Burgess was a place they could go and make laws.

1. The fact that the burgesses could make their own laws was very much on the mind of many people in the American colonies.

2. They both have a place to meet and make laws

Mayflower Compact- 1620

The Mayflower Compact was the first written framework of government establishing self-rule. The compact was written to prevent non agreement between the Pilgrims and Puritans who just landed at Plymouth. The compact that was signed by every adult male creating a "Civil Body Politic" to enact "just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Office.

1. What is the significance of the Mayflower Compact? It was the first written framework of government establishing self-government.

2. What was the purpose of the Mayflower Compact? To prevent non agreement between the Pilgrims and Puritans.

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut- 1639

It was the first written constitution in North America. The Orders were composed of eleven orders and was adopted by the residents of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield. The purpose of the Commonwealth was "to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus," as well as to formulate "Laws, Rules, Orders, and Decrees."

The Orders provided election of our governor. This body had lawmaking, executive, and judicial power.

1. What is the significance of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut? It expanded voting rights.

2. How are the ideas of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut similar to our government today? They both formulate Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees to guide civil affairs


The Rights expanded over time starting from 1215 from the Magna Carta to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Over the years they had more voting rights, became, a self government, and had the first legislature. Many things change over the years for the people's rights.