Chapter Summary

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AP Government
September 7, 2012
Chapter 2 Summary
Within the first pages of this chapter, we are introduced with the topic of the constitution and actions of Gregory Lee Johnson. The case of Gregory Lee Johnson is about that of him burning an American flag and protesting that when the government became involved, it was against his freedom of speech. This is where the constitution of the United States comes into play and supersedes the ordinary law.

The question though, what exactly is a constitution? A constitution is a nation’s basic laws. Essentially it creates political institutions, provides rights for citizens and holds power within the government. The constitution also holds the unwritten traditions and precedents that have been established. Most people do not always agree with how the constitution is written and don’t always agree with how the government is ran, but this constitution is the basis of how all things are ran.

Next is the Declaration of Independence. Between 1775 and 1776 there was a tremendous amount of discontent with the English and the Continental Congress was in session for that continuous year. When all the men were coming up with ideas and a basis for the Declaration of Independence, most ideas and propositions were adopted from John Locke who argued that humans have all natural rights and are not dependent upon the government. Later this Declaration was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson and adopted on July 4th, 1776. Essentially this was written to announce and justify the revolution that was happening. Lastly, all the colonists needed foreign assistance to conquest the most powerful nation in the world.

Going back to fully understand Locke and his ideas, we take a look at the idea that Locke was one of the most influential philosophers of this time. John Locke built most of his philosophy on the idea of natural rights. Natural rights are rights inherent of people and who are not dependent on the government....
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