The US constitution is a supreme law guiding the conducts of government, people, and organizations in the United States. The U.S. constitution comprises of seven articles that delineates the form of government. However, before the constitution came into force in 1789, there were philosophical thinking that influenced the compilation of the American constitution.
The objective of this essay is to discuss the philosophical influences on the U.S. Constitution.
John Locke was an English Philosopher and his thinking had the great impact on the American constitution. John Locke believed that all people has alienated rights and they are created equal. John Locke was political philosopher was the early proponent of social contract theory believing that there were certain inalienable rights that people should enjoy. Locke believed that it was people who created the government, and people could overthrow the government if they failed to protect their rights. In his philosophical thinking, Locke revealed that all human is born equal, and they had the natural rights to defend their liberties, life and health. Locke contributed to the development of liberalism and laid a groundwork for the development of the Enlightenment.
Typically, Locke's philosophical thinking influenced the U.S. Declaration of Independence. When the U.S. constitution was being drafted, the lawmakers drew up Locke social contract theoretical frameworks and integrated them into the U.S. constitution. Emphatically, the U.S. constitution is a legal framework that offers protection of natural rights that include right life and property. Locke's philosophical thinking aroused the decision of the lawmakers to integrate the human rights in the constitution. Moreover, John Locke influenced the adoption of 1776 Declaration of Independence that states "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their...
constitution is the area of the Bill of Rights (1791) that defines that fundamental human rights that people must enjoy. Locke continues by pointing out that when the government fails to protect the natural rights of the citizens, people have the rights to dissolve that government. This is reflected in the U.S. constitution where the legislative power can be used to remove the President from the office through two third majority.
John Locke also discussed the power of government, which he believed should be distributed within the different institutions. Locke postulated the separation of power because it will be too risky to entrench all powers on the same individual who will have the power to make law and at the same time power to execute that laws. The doctrine of separation of power is outlined in the U.S. constitution under the Articles I, II, and III that divide the branch of government into three where each branch has equal power, and each of the branches of government has specific functions and their powers do not conflict with one another.
Because of the wording of the "Declaration of Independence," Locke is perhaps the most famous Enlightenment influence upon the Founding Fathers. However, a number of Continental Enlightenment philosophers had great influence upon the shape of the new nation: "Jean-Jacques Rousseau…distrusted the aristocrats not out of a thirst for change but because he believed they were betraying decent traditional values…Rousseau argued that inequality was not only unnatural, but that -- when
" Thus, the members of the Convention assumed that, although power was a necessary evil, it was also dangerous, especially when provided to the wrong person who might take advantage of this power for his own gain. In essence, the members attempted to compose a constitution that would insure effective power for the government when needed but that would also place reliable checks and safeguards on the use of that power.
The U.S. Constitution also included many of those Magna Carta rights from the first state constitutions. Equally important in developing the rights delineated in the Bill of Rights was another 17th century English document, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, which limited power of the monarch, mandated free elections, gave the citizens the right to petition laws they deemed unjust, and created the concept of a system of checks and
The second section examines the processes of the Constitutional Convention, the rectification of the weak Articles of Confederation, the ratification of the new Constitution, and the Washington and Jeffersonian Administrations. The first presidents had to try to make sense of the wording of the new document and put the presidency's ideals into practice. The third section examines the evolving role of presidents from Jackson to the present and how
American Political Philosophy: Republicanism Within this paper, the general theory of republicanism will be presented. The conceptualization of republicanism discussed within the paper as an American political philosophy will be based on The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison in 1787. Initially, a brief overview of relevant background information on The Federalist Papers will be provided. This will be followed by a discussion of the primary
Articles of Confederation: The Articles of Confederation were approved in November, 1777 and were the basic format for what would become the Constitution and Bill of Rights for the United States. There were, of course, deficiencies in the document, this was a new experiment and getting the delegates to agree in kind to pass any sort of document was challenging at best. The Articles did allow a semblance of unity,