A system of rule by the people defined by the existence of popular sovereignty, political equality, and political liberty
A form of political decision making in which the public business is decided by all citizens meeting in small assemblies
Indirect democracy, in which the people rule through elected representatives
Viewed man as a rational being in a rational universe
Ideal form of government could be discovered through the exercise of human reason
“Father of Political Science”
Used the concept of human reasoning to analyze nation-states that existed in his time
Man is political by nature and must participate in the governance of the State to be truly human
believed individual rights and liberties were absolutely fundamental to a good society
Their preservation must be maintained for the government to derive legitimate authority
Conceived of government as a means of securing individual rights— life, liberty, and property.
Social Contract- Men were not political by nature; they consented to be government for the purpose of protecting their rights
Participation in government is not necessary for human fulfillment but is a method for securing liberty. Goal of government is the protection of the individual
Concerned with the concentration of power
Argued that power concentrated in any individual or single institution was oppressive
To prevent tyranny and to secure liberty, power should be separated
Systems of Government
Objections to Majoritarian Democracy
Majority tyranny threatens liberty- (Founder James Madison)
The people are irrational and incompetent
Majoritarian democracy threatens minorities
Fear can undermine democracy
Groups with Colonial Interests
(1) The New England merchants
(2) The southern planters
(3) The “royalists” holders of royal lands, offices, and patents
(4) Shopkeepers, artisans, and laborers;
(5) Small farmers
The Stamp Act #1
Required various printed materials in the American colonies be affixed with a tax stamp.
Materials taxed: legal documents, magazines, newspapers and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies.
Had to be paid in valid British currency, not colonial money
The Stamp Act #2
Was to help pay for troops stationed in North America following the British victory in the Seven Years’ War.
The Crown believed that as beneficiaries the colonies should pay at least a portion of the expense.
The Stamp Act fostered great resistance in the colonies. They saw it as a tax without their consent which could only be granted by their colonial legislatures.
The Stamp and Sugar Acts
How did they fight the taxes? With demonstrations and boycotts
The Crown rescinds the taxes on March 18, 1766
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