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Background and Emergence of Democracy in the British North American Colonies.

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��ࡱ�>�� .0����-�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������5@ ��0�bjbj�2�2 ((�X�X��������������������8" .��VVVVVVVV�������$�R�"��VVVVV���VV�```V�V�V�`V�``r��rVJ P�C����Vr��0r V r�$����� �r VV`VVVVV��`Background and Emergence of Democracy in the British North American Colonies Beginning in the early 1600's, North America experienced a flood of emigrants from England who were searching for religious freedom, an escape from political oppression, and economic opportunity. Their emigration from England was not forced upon them by the government, but offered by private groups whose chief motive was profit. The emergence of Democracy in colonial America can be attributed to the coming about of several institutions and documents filled with new and "unconventional" ideas that were brought about by a people tired of bickering among themselves and being torn apart by strife. The Anglo-American political thought in the eighteenth century contained notions of right and freedom, which fueled their passion for a better way of life. . The Virginia House of Burgesses, the Mayflower Compact, New England town meetings, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were all early stepping stones toward a truly democratic government. These documents and organizations may not have been what we perceive, today, as being democratic, but they were a start. ...read more.


This document made plans for self- government in Plymouth. The compact enacted a direct democracy, in which the citizens, not elected representatives, were the lawmakers. The ideas of majority rule and ! equal justice under the law were also employed in this compact. As New England towns grew, there became a typical layout for the towns, which included a church/meeting house at the center of town. While church and state were, in theory, separate, they were, in fact, one. A system of government that was theocratic and authoritarian had evolved. These churches/meeting houses were home to many aspects of town life including the place where town meetings were held. Town meetings provided the settlers with an opportunity to discuss public problems. Civil obligations became a shared responsibility. If one was a free man who belonged to the town church and owned property, he could then take part in these hearings. The meetings had an elected colonial assembly, which over saw the meetings, and practiced direct democracy. These meetings were essential in providing colonists with a taste of self-government and self-determination. In "Federalist No. 10", James Madison described a pure democracy as "�a Society, consisting of a small number of! ...read more.


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