Influences on the Constitution

Magna Carta - John Adams - Jean Jacques Rousseau

American Artifacts: David Rubenstein on Magna Carta & U.S. History

Magna Carta influences on the Constitution -

[1] In the first place we grant to God and confirm by this our present charter for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity that the English Church is to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely. We furthermore grant and give to all the freemen of our realm for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity the liberties written below to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs in perpetuity. (Due Process)

[4] The keeper of the land of such an heir who is under age is only to take reasonable receipts from the heir’s land and reasonable customs and reasonable services, and this without destruction or waste of men or things. And if we assign custody of any such land to a sheriff or to anyone else who should answer to us for the issues, and such a person should commit destruction or waste, we will take recompense from him and the land will be assigned to two law-worthy and discreet men of that fee who will answer to us or to the person to whom we assign such land for the land’s issues. And if we give or sell to anyone custody of any such land and that person commits destruction or waste, he is to lose custody and the land is to be assigned to two law-worthy and discreet men of that fee who similarly will answer to us as is aforesaid. (Private Property)

[5] The keeper, for as long as he has the custody of the land of such (an heir), is to maintain the houses, parks, fishponds, ponds, mills and other things pertaining to that land from the issues of the same land, and he will restore to the heir, when the heir comes to full age, all his land stocked with ploughs and all other things in at least the same condition as when he received it. All these things are to be observed in the custodies of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbeys, priories, churches and vacant offices which pertain to us, save that such custodies ought not to be sold. (Private Property)

[9] The city of London is to have all its ancient liberties and customs. Moreover we wish and grant that all other cities and boroughs and vills and the barons of the Cinque Ports and all ports are to have all their liberties and free customs. (Due Process)

[14] A freeman is not to be amerced for a small offence save in accordance with the manner of the offence, and for a major offence according to its magnitude, saving his sufficiency (salvo contenemento suo), and a merchant likewise, saving his merchandise, and any villain other than one of our own is to be amerced in the same way, saving his necessity (salvo waynagio) should he fall into our mercy, and none of the aforesaid amercements is to be imposed save by the oath of honest and law-worthy men of the neighbourhood. Earls and barons are not to be amerced save by their peers and only in accordance with the manner of their offence. (8th Amendment)

[21] No sheriff or bailiff of ours or of anyone else is to take anyone’s horses or carts to make carriage, unless he renders the payment customarily due, namely for a two-horse cart ten pence per day, and for a three-horse cart fourteen pence per day. No demesne cart belonging to any churchman or knight or any other lady (sic) is to be taken by our bailiffs, nor will we or our bailiffs or anyone else take someone else’s timber for a castle or any other of our business save by the will of he to whom the timber belongs. (Private Property)

[22] We shall not hold the lands of those convicted of felony save for a year and a day, whereafter such land is to be restored to the lords of the fees. (Private Property)

[28] No bailiff is henceforth to put any man on his open law or on oath simply by virtue of his spoken word, without reliable witnesses being produced for the same. (6th Amendment)

[29] No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell or deny of delay right or justice. (Due Process)

[32] No free man is henceforth to give or sell any more of his land to anyone, unless the residue of his land is sufficient to render due service to the lord of the fee as pertains to that fee. (Private Property)

[34] No-one is to be taken or imprisoned on the appeal of woman for the death of anyone save for the death of that woman’s husband. (Due Process)

[36] Nor is it permitted to anyone to give his land to a religious house in such a way that he receives it back from such a house to hold, nor is it permitted to any religious house to accept the land of anyone in such way that the land is restored to the person from whom it was received to hold. If anyone henceforth gives his land in such a way to any religious house and is convicted of the same, the gift is to be entirely quashed and such land is to revert to the lord of that fee. (Private Property 1st Amendment?)

[37] Scutage furthermore is to be taken as it used to be in the time of King H(enry) our grandfather, and all liberties and free customs shall be preserved to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, Templars, Hospitallers, earls, barons and all others, both ecclesiastical and secular persons, just as they formerly had. (Due Process)

American Presidents: Life Portraits - John Adams

John Adams influences on The Constitution -

He was the main author of the Costitution of Massachusettes which was the first Constitution ever written and the basis of the U.S. Constitution.

He came up with the checks and balances by having a senate and housed of the repersentatives.

Most articles in the Mass. Constitution are also on the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Constitution uses John Adams structure for Constitutions.

Enlightenment - Words of the World

Jean Jac influences on The Constitution -

Rousseau wrote "The Social Contract" (Le contrat social) in 1762. he believed that people are not social beings by nature. primitive people had no reason to hurt each other, but civilization brought out these evils (aggression and egotism). he thought society should be organized into agricultural communities where everyone is controlled. he also outlined a plan for a democracy in which all people would participate and be involved reducing special interest groups.

Rousseau believed we’d all be freer if we decided what rules we wanted to follow based on a consensus. (democracy)

Rousseau felt that the idea of a representative democracy doesn’t work because the representatives only represent their own experiences and interests, not the common good of all society. He felt the best social contract is one in which everyone participates in politics. (i.e., democracy, not a republic)

Rousseau proposed that humans possessed certain natural rights, apart from the king or the state. These rights were those of life, liberty, equality, and property. These rights are reflected particularly in the Bill of Rights.

He espoused a theory called “classical republicanism” where individuals dictated the form and direction of the government. He did not embrace the concept of a representative assembly, which we see in today’s Congress; rather, he believed in a city state assembly, where individual states (like Geneva at that time) met and decided governmental direction for the country.

Frida - Wrue - Jon