Philosophical And Religous Influences Of The Constitution

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Part One “ The Legal Framework

What were the philosophical and religious influences on American Constitutional Government?

In framing the Constitution, the forefathers derived many of the foundations of constitutional government from philosophical and religious ideas. American Constitutional government was not perfect but a result of trial and error of almost two centuries of colonial existence. The origins of Constitutional Government stem from the Judeo Christian principles of covenant, justice, and inalienable rights. This idea was a reflection of the protestant influences and upbringings of the framers and that of the American people. The framers read extensively on the writings of Enlightenment thinkers such as Locke and Montesquieu, applying their ideas into the constitution. John Locke's "Second Treatise  and his idea of the "social contract  was a major influence upon the construction of the constitution. According to Locke, the original state of nature was happy and characterized by reason and tolerance; all human beings were equal and free to pursue "life, health, liberty, and possessions." Thus such rights could not be delegated or withheld from any individual in a state of socie

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