How Did The Constitution Influence The Writers Of The Us Constitution

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The United States had a problem: the country was only about a decade old and the Articles of Confederation, created in 1781 to provide a basis for government, were not working. The country needed a new solution. That solution that the Founding Fathers came up with was the Constitution of the United States, which with the addition of the Bill of Rights, has been the basis of government since it was written in 1787. Since its writing, the Constitution has influenced the development of similar works in other countries. The US Constitution itself was the product of influences from other times and other countries including forms of government and the published works of various men. The writers of the US Constitution were influenced most by …show more content…

The writers, educated Englishmen, had lived under the English system of government (Pearson, ushistory.org). One of the most important documents was the Magna Carta which showed that the monarch’s powers were not absolute (McCormack). Another document was the English Bill of Rights which talked about free elections and the rights of the accused. The writers understood England’s constitutional monarchy and the English Parliament which had representatives of the people and was divided into two houses. They were also familiar with the problems that came when people felt that they were not being represented. The Revolutionary War had just been fought over that very situation. Because they were educated in classical history, the writers knew about the Greek and Roman works on democracy and republics. They were also familiar with the works of various English and French philosophers of the Enlightenment movement. Consequently, the writers of the Constitution had several strong influences that went into the development of the …show more content…

The Enlightenment was a movement that emphasized a scientific and rational approach to problems. The Enlightenment writers generally believed that the power of reason could be used to improve society. (Pearson) One of the most important writers of this movement was John Locke, an Englishman, who wrote Two Treatises of Government in 1690. His view was that it was government’s job to protect the natural rights of “life, liberty, and ownership of property” (Pearson, ushistory.org). Another writer was Montesquieu, a Frenchman who lived in England for a time. His contribution was the idea of the separation of parts of government into three branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. This would create a balance so that no one person or group would be too powerful (Enlightenment, Pearson). Voltaire was also a Frenchman who lived in England for a time. His concern was that there be separation between church and state. This would allow freedom of religion (Enlightenment, Pearson). Rousseau was Swiss born, but lived in France. He was in favor of a direct democracy; this led to the idea that the people should vote on their congressmen and president (Enlightenment). Cesare Beccaria was an Italian who was influenced by the works of the Frenchman Montesquieu. From his writings

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