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The origins of American government date back into antiquity, beginning at least as far back as Mosaic Law – the Ten Commandments – and trace their evolution through the Greek, Roman, and Western European civilizations.
The largest contribution to American Government come from that Judeo-Christian values systems and the British system of law and politics.  When Thomas Jefferson sat down and wrote the Declaration of Independence, for example, he borrowed ideas from such intellectual luminaries as the Greek philosopher Aristotle, British political theorist John Locke, and the French philosopher and wine-maker Jean Rousseau.
Today, we will begin to focus on the origins of government in the United States.
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Since our legal system has its roots in the English system of law, it’s best to begin our discussion of common law in that nation.
English Common Law developed in the 1100s, beginning with King Henry II of England who ruled from.  It is based on the decisions of judges, and the prevailing social customs, and the traditions and customs of the English people over the centuries.  It is not based on laws that were passed by Parliament.  The establishment of Common Law made it possible to have one system of justice throughout England in the Medieval era.
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In modern times, what Aristotle called a “polis” has developed into the state – an independent political unit.  Most often states are called “nation” or “country” or “nation-state.”
During your time studying government in this course, this use of the term “state” should not be confused with the term as it applies to those sub-governments within the United “States” of America.  In the early days of this nation, each of the original 13 states was actually its own mini-nation, with all of the powers of independent states.  However, with the ratification (legal acceptance) of the Constitution in 1787, the term “state” came to mean a smaller part of the U.S.A. – but such states are now under the over-all sovereignty of the national, or U.S. government, and are no longer entirely independent of the rest of the nation.