Colonial Influences

Lesson Plan

American colonists had some strong ideas about what they wanted in a government. These ideas surface in colonial documents, and eventually became a part of the founding documents like the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. But where did they come from?  This lesson looks at the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, English Bill of Rights, Cato’s Letters and Common Sense. 

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Students will be able to trace the impact of the following documents on the colonists’ views of government:

  • Magna Carta
  • English Bill of Rights
  • Mayflower Compact
  • Cato’s Letters
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense