Influences on the U.S. Constitution

Rachel Adams, Taylor Chatman, Jenny Hoffman, Marshall Davi

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English Bill of Rights

The English Bill of Rights is one of the main influences of the Constitution and is the prominent structure for it as well. Along with the Constitution, the U.S. Bill of Rights echoes the English Bill of Rights. Similar bills include the right to petition, independent judiciary, freedom from taxation, freedom of election, freedom to bear arms, freedom from a peace time standing army, freedom of speech, no cruel or unusual punisments, freedom from fines, and forfeitures without trial.

James Madison

James Madison along with James Wilson and others argued for a stonger cental government during the Constitutional Convention. He also kept detailed noted of the convention and is therefore responsible for much of what we know about the inner workings of the convention. Beyond that, he was a major influence in the ratification of the Constitution as well as John Jay and Alexander Hamilton who all contributed to the influential Federalist papers.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau was a famous Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. He devoloped The Social Contract Theory with Hobbes, Harrington, and John Locke in 1762. He proposed that people preserve certain natural rights including life, liberty, equality, and property which are reflected in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Natural Law

Natural Law is the belief that all people are governed by nature and a naturally knowable moral law. This belief is mainly portrayed in the preamble of the Constitution which examplifies the basic rights of mankind. Later on in the Constution, the writers continuously make the presence of natural law known as the most basic rights of our country.