Origins and Foundations of
Standard(s) of Learning
||The student will demonstrate knowledge of the political philosophies that shaped the development of Virginia and United States constitutional government by
||describing the development of Athenian democracy and the Roman republic;
||explaining the influence of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights;
||examining the writings of Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu;
||explaining the guarantee of the "rights of Englishmen" set forth in the charters of the Virginia Company of London;
||analyzing the natural rights philosophies expressed in the Declaration of Independence;
||examining George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and James Madison’s leadership role in securing adoption of the Bill of Rights by the First Congress.
Explain what democratic elements of the United States constitutional system evolved from Athens and Rome:
• Athens—Direct democracy
• Rome—Indirect democracy/republic
Using the following information, explain that the United States constitutional system incorporated ideas from the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Rights, and the English Bill of Rights:
• Limited power of government
• Fundamental rights
• Trial by jury
• Due process of law
English Petition of Rights
• Early document supporting idea that men have rights and establishing concept of rule of law
• Included basic rights
– Guarantee of trial by jury
– Protection against martial law
– Protection against quartering of troops
– Protection of private property
English Bill of Rights
• Limited power of the monarch
– No standing army in peacetime
– Free elections
– Right of petition
– Parliamentary checks on power
Using the following information, analyze the fundamental principles of government and law developed by leading European political thinkers—Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Montesquieu—that may be found in the Constitution of Virginia, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States of America.
Fundamental political principles
• Limited government—John Locke, Thomas Hobbes (Constitution of Virginia, Constitution of the United States of America, Declaration of Independence)
• Government's authority coming only from the consent of the governed—John Locke (Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America)
• Separation of powers—Montesquieu (Constitution of the United States of America, Constitution of Virginia)
Explain that the charters of the Virginia Company of London extended the rights of Englishmen to the colonists.
Using the following information, explain how the natural rights philosophy of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are expressed in the Declaration of Independence:
• Rousseau believed that all men are equal.
• Locke believed that government is based on an agreement between people and their rulers ("social contract"). He felt that people have the right to life, liberty, and property.
Below is an annotated list of Internet resources for this organizing topic. Copyright restrictions may exist for the material on some Web sites. Please note and abide by any such restrictions.
“Athenian Daily Life: Politics.” City University of New York, Brooklyn College. <http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/classics/dunkle/athnlife/politics.htm>. This site provides information on Athenian democracy.
“The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.” <http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/medmenu.asp>. This site provides a plain-text copy of the Magna Carta, along with definitions of legal or old English terms.
“Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu.”New Advent. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10536a.htm>. This site provides biographical information on the French writer and philosopher Montesquieu.
“Comparison of American and English Bill of Rights.” Central Michigan University. <http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/timothy_hall/bofr/comparison.htm> This site compares amendments to the American Bill of Rights and selected articles of the English Bill of Rights.
“English Bill of Rights, 1689.” Montauk Magazine. <http://www.montauk.com/history/1689_bill_intro.htm>. This site traces the history of the English Bill of Rights.
“English Petition of Rights” and “English Bill of Rights.” The Founders’ Constitution <http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/>. This site offers many documents related to the fundamental elements of the U.S. Constitution and the basis for political authority.
“Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome.” Fordham. <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook09.html> This site provides information on Rome and its political history.
“John Locke (1632-1704).” Oregon State. <http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/locke.html>. This site provides biographical information on the philosopher John Locke.
“The Magna Carta (The Great Charter).” <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/magnacarta.txt>. This site provides a translation of the Magna Carta.
The University of Oklahoma Law Center. This site contains the texts of the three charters granted to the Virginia Company of London:
• “The First Virginia Charter.” <http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/vchart1.html>
• “The Second Virginia Charter.” <http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/vchart2.html>
• “The Third Virginia Charter.” <http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/vchart3.html>
Youth Leadership Initiative. < http://www.youthleadership.net/>. This Web site, supported by The University of Virginia Center for Politics, is an excellent resource for a variety of governmental topics. There are lessons devoted to the political philosophers that influenced the Founders, such as Blackstone, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and Rousseau. The lessons come ready to download and include pictures that help to explain their respective philosophies. The site does require teacher registration to gain access to the material, but it is free of charge.