Classical Republicanism and the Natural Rights Philosophy

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Classical Republicanism is the theory in which the role of the citizen is to benefit the common good through civic virtue, or their dedication to government at any cost of their individual interests. The Natural Rights Philosophy does not stress the common good, or the prosperity of the government and society, but rather the interests and individual rights of the citizen. According to the Natural Rights Philosophy, individuals are free to pursue his or her own interests, and are protected by the government to do so. It was a balance of both of these philosophies that the Founders based the government upon 217 years ago and that still remains in our government today.

As John F. Kennedy stated in his inaugural address: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you “ask what you can do for your country.  The basic element of Classical Republicanism can be seen here in his quote that it is the role of the citizen to uphold the government. The American government is based on a contract, the Constitution, in which the Classical Republican ideal of civic virtue is juxtaposed with the Natural Rights Philosophy's requisite for the Government to protect each citizen's rights. An e

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