The Ancient Constitution!
this was a way of life for the British, developed over the generations!•
it was in the process of being changed in the 17th century, changes references old ideas!◦
Magna Carta, common law!‣
rights of Englishmen had been there all along!•
quarrel with the king due to the anger of his neglect for old things!◦
rebellion done in the name of old government, changed british government permanently!•
ﬁrst settlements in North America in the early 17th century!•
time of the constitution was 4-5 generations!◦
people saw themselves as subjects, loyal to the crown!‣
5 Categories to understand political ideas -> Apprenticeship in Liberty!
colonists didn't know they were becoming American citizens!•
1) religion -> puritan and congregationalism!
2) Ancient Constitution -> belonged to the English, entitled to government that their ancestors
rules had to follow this outline!◦
foreshadowing aﬀections for the constitution!◦
English felt that there was a right way to have government, merge this idea!‣
3) de facto self-government -> long distance between the colonies and the homeland!
4) political conﬂict in England in the 17th century -> battle between Stewart monarchy and the
5) birth of modern liberalism -> Locke, birth of natural rights, founders knew of this!
the ancient constitution was carried to the colonies!•
we see elements of this in the charters the settlers brought to the New World!◦
the King was a central ﬁgure!•
the constitution understood monarchy and his importance !◦
James I said the king was godlike and supreme!◦
kings were often compared to God, the hand of the body, and the father!•
they have the power to destroy, not accountable to anyone!◦
they can do as they please!◦
father -> make subjects beggars or rich, power to execute!•
hand -> direct all members towards the use that the hand sees is convenient!•
the king's power is universal !•
he had the power of life or death!◦
the subjects also felt this way about him!•