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Founding Documents

French and Indian War A war from 1754-1763 in which the American colonists (then known as British colonists) fought against France and Native Americans for the right to territory in North America.
Social Contract An Enlightenment theory in which people have the right to share in the activities of the government. You give up some of your rights to the government in exchange for government protection.
Land Ordinance of 1785 Legislation which set forth how the government of the United States would measure, divide and distribute the Great Lakes region of land that it had acquired (area north and west of the Ohio River) from Great Britain at the end of the American Revolution.
John Locke Enlightenment philosopher who believed that the purpose of government is to protect man’s natural rights. He said that if the government failed to protect the natural rights of man, then the citizens had the right to overthrow the government.
Articles of Confederation The first constitution of the United States, adopted in 1777, which created a weak central government and the need for a stronger federal government.
Enlightenment The era in the 1600s and 1700s in which reason, intellect, science and philosophy became the cornerstones for establishing a government. Scholars advised against monarchs and religious rulers.
List of Grievances The second part of the Declaration of Independence which lists 27 complaints against the British King George III to support the argument that the king had lost his right to rule by consent of the American colonists
Continental Congress A governing body of delegates who became the central government of the 13 American colonies during the American Revolution.
Declaration of Independence The 1776 American document that cut all political ties to Great Britain by summarizing the colonists’ motivations for seeking their independence, and thereby declaring their independence.
Northwest Ordinance 1787 Legislation that provided a method for admitting new states to the Union from the Northwest Territory (now Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin) and listed a bill of rights guaranteed to citizens in the Northwest Territory.
Created by: JenBeckler