Measurement Topic 1: The Development of Modern Political Thought lt#1- where did the ideas that sparked the American Revolution come from? Explain why/how those ideas/beliefs led to the American Revolution. Directions

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Mt1: LT#1 Handout #1 Name: __________________Date:_____ Period:____

Measurement Topic 1: The Development of Modern Political Thought

LT#1- Where did the ideas that sparked the American Revolution come from? Explain why/how those ideas/beliefs led to the American Revolution.


1st- Number the paragraphs

2nd -Read the passage, and circle words you don’t know. Find the meaning of the words.

3rd- Read the passage a second time, highlight information and write side notes.

In order to understand why America had a revolution, rebelled against England’s Gov. /king, it is necessary to know the ideas that inspired the 13 colonist to rebel. The colonists were strongly influenced to rebel and go to war against England by the ideas of the enlightenment thinker John Locke, who inspired the American colonist to stand up against the violation of their rights by their government in England. Ideas such as all people have rights, these right were called natural rights, life, liberty and property and that the people create or allow governments to exist in order to protect their rights, and when a government fails to protect the people’s rights then the people have the right to overthrow/fire their government and create a new government.
The ideas of the Enlightenment spread quickly through the American colonies in the 1700s. As a result, the Enlightenment ideas had a strong influence on the American colonists to go to war against England. One of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers in the American colonies was the Englishman John Locke. One of Locke’s main beliefs was that people set up governments to protect their natural rights, which include life, liberty, and property. Locke claimed these rights were “unalienable,” meaning that they cannot be taken away. Locke also stated that the purpose of government was to protect these rights, and when it failed, the people must change the government or create a new one. His ideas encouraged people to question why their government did certain things. These ideas became the basis for the Declaration of Independence, which formally separated the American colonies from Great Britain. In June of 1776 the leaders of America meet to send a letter to announce to the world that it was now a free and independence nation. Thomas Jefferson was selected to write this letter. Thomas Jefferson used ideas from the John Locke when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
In writing the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson used the ideas of Locke to help justify why the colonists were revolting. He incorporated the idea of natural rights when he wrote, “unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. He also used John Locke’s idea that the government’s power comes from the people when he wrote, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson went on to argue that the British king had abused his power and denied the colonists their basic rights, and therefore the colonists had no other choice but to rebel, therefore the colonist argued they had the right to overthrow the English government and create a new government, the United States of America.
The American colonists were upset over the various taxes and laws the English Parliament was passing without their representation. The American colonist had not elected a representative to represent their ideas, beliefs and thoughts regarding the passage of laws and taxes that would affect them. The American colonist knew of the rights granted to them under the Magna Carta and English bill of rights to guarantee their rights to have a representative, which caused them to further become upset that their rights were being violated. Because these rights were being violated, they felt that they need to stand up for their rights , so in 1775 the American colonists began a war with England, the American Revolutionary War, to gain their freedom from a government who failed to protect their rights.
The 13 colonies went on to win the American Revolutionary war against England and they gained their freedom, which can be traced back to the Magna Carta, the first document that showed the people that they could change a corrupt government/king, followed by the English bill of rights which not only limited the king/governments power but created laws to protect people’s rights. So when those rights were violated, the colonist living in the 13 colonies knew something had to be done to correct the violation. Locke further inspired the American colonist by providing the ideas, that people have rights that the government is supposed to protect those rights, that a government’s power should be separated to prevent abuse and that the people should take action when the government fails to protect the rights of the people. These ideas helped the colonist revolt, and rebel from England to create the USA.
Answer the following questions in complete sentences from the reading.

  1. Who did the 13 colonist fight a war against to gain their freedom?

  1. Which ideas from Locke influenced the 13 colonist to rebel against England?

  1. Why did the colonist feel they should or could overthrow the English government and create their own government?

  1. What is the Declaration of Independence? Who wrote it?

  1. What specify had England done to the 13 colonist to make them want to rebel against England?

Write a summary detailing the specific ideas that inspired the 13 colonists to go to war against England and what actions England did make the colonist revolt.


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