Colonial Rights And Self Government Essay

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Early colonial experiences had a tremendous affect on the founder’s view about rights and limited self-government. Accordingly, Thomas Jefferson explained, “ Every man and every body of men on earth possess the right of self government. Jefferson’s view defined the belief of many of the colonists, that government must be representative of the people. In order to be self-governed, the people agreed to charters and developed compacts including: the Mayflower Compact, and the Orders of Connecticut. The Mayflower Compact stated that the colonists would combine together into a civil body politic; establish equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices; and meet together to ensure the common good. The Connecticut Orders allowed people…show more content…
In terms of classical republicanism and the common good, the state constitutions included the idea of a social contract, popular sovereignty, and right to vote. Roman leader and philosopher Cicero explained,” The highest calling is that of a citizen,” this citizen participation was essential for a functioning government. Social contracts allowed citizens to give up some rights in order to enhance the common good. Likewise, popular sovereignty ensured citizens the ability to alter aspects of government that may not benefit the community. Similarly, the right to vote let the people elect officials that would benefit society as a whole. The Natural rights philosophy also played a major role in state constitutions. In every state there was a written or higher law, which limited governmental power through a written document. These written constitutions reflected the idea that the purpose of government was to preserve and protect citizens’ natural or unalienable rights. Early American patriot and politician, Samuel Adams, concluded,” Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property, and together the right to defend
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