Influences of The Constitution

By: Briana, Lizzy , Maddie , Hunter

James madison

James Madison-

  • wrote English Bill of Rights which represented Natural Rights.
  • Known as one of the Fathers of the Constitution
  • Drafted the first ten amendments of the Constitution

English Bill of Rights

English Bill of Rights:

  • The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power.
  • Our nation was built on, changed, and added ideas and institution from the English Bill of Rights
  • Was created to prevent abuse of power by William and Mary and all the future monarchs and parliament

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli:

  • was the father of modern political theory,
  • In his book The Prince, The main theme is about monarchical rule and survival is man's capacity for determining his own destiny in opposition to the power of fate, which has been interpreted as the political philosophy that one may resort to any means in order to establish and preserve total authority.
  • His work has been regarded as a handbook for politicians on the use of ruthless, self-serving cunning, and inspired the term "Machiavellian".

Natural Law

Natural law

  • A law or body of laws that derives from nature and is believed to be binding upon human actions apart from or in conjunction with laws established by human authority
  • Natural law is also related to religious laws and moral beliefs

How they fit together (explanation, do not have to write)

James Madison, believed that there are certain rights, that the people were entitled to, called natural laws. When he wrote the Bill of Rights he did so with Natural Law in mind. For example the phrasing of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" from the Declaration of Independence was directly adapted from the great English exponent of Natural Law.

Madison also believed that government would crumble if religion was not a big part of it. James Madison urges that religion forms the cornerstone of American republicanism. According to Madison, self-government requires a higher authority or code in order to work. This code clearly is religion, as many of the Founders necessarily based their writings under the presupposition that America would be a majority-Christian nation.

Niccolo Machiavelli's book The Prince, helped shape and articulate modern conceptions of republicanism that greatly influenced the writings and beliefs of the Founding Fathers of the United States Echoing Madison’s claims, Machiavelli urges the importance of religion on a republics ruler in order to insure the stability of the regime.

Last but not least the Bill of Rights incorporates natural laws. For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress from making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech