Influences on the Constitution

Maddy Sardina, Dani White, Josh Quiroz, Jose Duque

The Declaration

The Declaration of Independence loosely describes the nation's demand for a better government while the Constitution has a more detailed outline of how the government should be run. The Declaration, as written by Thomas Jefferson, also boldly states the "principle of popular sovereignty", the idea that the government is run by the people for the people, which is woven throughout the Constitution. The Preamble of the Constitution also contains ideas stated throughout the Declaration.


Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was a key author of the Declaration of Independence. His ideas for an independent nation were woven throughout the Declaration and those ideas in turn made it into the Constitution. Some of these ideas, such as the idea of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", provided the founding principles the Constitution is based on.


William Blackstone

Blackstone is the author of Commentaries on the Law of England which contributed ideas to the Declaration and therefore the Constitution. These ideas included no taxation without representation, the right to property, the right to bare arms, and the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those who authored the Declaration, such as Thomas Jefferson, borrowed these ideas to use within the Declaration. Some of his other books included ideas on criminal law and property law that also made their way into the Constitution.


Natural Law

Natural Law is the idea of man having "certain unalienable rights" such as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These unalienable rights are considered to be "God-given" and are stated explicitly within the Declaration of Independence. They are repeated within the Constitution as well and are supported by Thomas Jefferson who had a strong hand in writing the Declaration.