Anglo-American Worlds - Georgetown Preparatory School

Anglo-American Worlds Anglo-American World Americans liked being British. They admired the British Constitution, the grandeur of the city of London, and the economic, political, and military power of the Empire. But they were appalled at the unequal distribution of wealth in England that left a majority landless and in poverty, and they were scandalized by the corruption endemic to British politics. They were proud to members of the freest empire in history, but believed that it was better to be British in America. In America, where land was plentiful, common people had better economic opportunity and greater political rights such as voting. (80% owned enough land to vote.) William Hogarths depiction of English voting mirrored the reservations that

Americans had about politics in the mother country. The man in the foreground, obviously incapacitated by drink is being told how to vote by the man standing and whispering in his ear. The Kings ministers used bribery extensively in the rotten boroughs to get their candidates elected to Parliament, and used patronage (offices and salaries) to

induce MPs in Parliament to vote for measures that the Kings ministers supported. Colonial Government American colonial governments roughly mirrored the British Constitution (King, Parliament (House of Lords, House of Commons) and reflected the colonists belief that they were free born Englishmen entitled to the rights thereof. Governor (appointed in most colonies by the King and possessing the power to veto bills passed by the Assembly, command the militia, appoint judges, make land grants, etc.)

Legislature (bi-cameral in every colony except Pennsylvania which had a unicameral (one house) legislature). Upper House (Council) appointed by the Governor Lower House (Assembly) elected by property-owning white males, it controlled the power of the purse. The Rise of the Assemblies The Power of the Purse: To tax and to appropriate (The assembly paid the salary of the governor.) According to John Locke, property equaled liberty and taxation involved government taking property (and thus liberty), so taxation had to be guarded jealously by the Assemblies.

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