Two prominent thinkers, one … Locke was an Enlightenment thinker present in the emerging stages of the new nation, playing a vital role in Jefferson's "Declaration … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Montesquieu believed in the separation of power with checks and balances. How did Baron de Montesquieu influence the framers of the U.S. Constitution? Professor Gregory Brown. he suggested three separate branches - the legislative, executive, and judicial. The Eighth Amendment of the Bill of Rights reflects more direct influences of Enlightenment ideals. The influence of these thinkers on the Constitution. b. Another example of Montesqueiu’s influence is in the convening and adjournment of the legislative branch. This sentiment of Enlightenment spirit was exemplified by the Founding Fathers going to war with the most powerful nation of the time, England, to step out from the tyranny of the King. The American Constitution has been the subject of heated debate since its formation. In direct response to ensuring security the Framers wrote that the legislature shall “provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. “Enlightenment Influences on the Framers of the Constitution”. Immanuel Kant used the phrase, “Have courage to use your own reason!” to describe the countenance of the Enlightenment. In fact, James Madison’s Enlightenment-resonant proposal for a religion clause went down in defeat--the wording we have today was suggested not by him but by his vigorous and popular opponents Fisher Ames and Samuel Livermore, both New England Christians. Transcripts taken from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/24/60minutes/main4040290_page4.shtml (Accessed on October 1, 2008. • For example, in a letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Mas… This power is mimicked in the Constitution where the President may “convene both Houses, or either of them” to decide on an issue he deems necessary, and “in Case of Disagreement between them…he may adjourn them to such a Time as he shall think proper”. The intellectual movement of Enlightenment was a very intricate movement that was centralized on the concepts of progression, reasoning, and the scientific method. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, (London 1824) 208. http://books.google.com/books?id=K1UBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+locke&lr=&as_brr=1&ei=HNTfSLO1M4fMtAPwioS1CQ#PPA208,M1 (Accessed on October 4, 2008). 78, No. New Features in Background Updater for SugarCRM, The most prestigious race in the US (Western States 100) also has roots in horse races as it forked from a horse ra…. Notable among these powers enumerated in the Constitution are power to; “Lay and collect Taxes”, declare war, “raise and support Armies” and Navy, borrow money, “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States”, and make laws. A. having public experience B. being Revolutionary War heroes C. having college educations D. being former members of Parliament During the era of the Enlightenment the countries of Europe were largely absolutist monarchies or, as in the case of England, parliamentary monarchies. (b) Explain how Enlightenment philosophy influenced the Framers in their drafting of these key documents. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. Describe how the framers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States were influences by the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers/philosophers. “Voltaire Biography”, http://www.notablebiographies.com/Tu-We/Voltaire.html (accessed on October 1, 2008), Joseph McCabe, Toleration and Other Essays by Voltaire (New York: G P Putnam’s Sons, 1912), 11-17. http://files.libertyfund.org/files/349/Voltaire_0029.pdf (accessed on October 1st, 2008), Cesare Beccaria, “Essay on Crimes and Punishments”, Modern History Sourcebook. 1784”, Modern History Sourcebook. Besides merely being a statement of social contract, we see examples of both the rights people of the United States are to yield to government, and duties of the government to ensure security written into the Constitution. ( Log Out /  “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates”, Montesquieu writes, “there can be no liberty” because such a body could “enact tyrannical laws” and “execute them in a tyrannical manner”. To prevent such a situation the Framers wrote into the Constitution, “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year”. The debate of whether cruel and unusual punishment in the Eight Amendment pertains to torture continues today. Answers ( 1) Ideas in the constitution came from several different Enlightenment thinkers. As Justice Scalia suggests, the Eight Amendment seems to pertain to punishment of prisoners which agrees Enlightenment views of Beccaria and Catherine the Great. John Locke's ideas are once again found in an American document.... Montesquieu's ideas were also used in the US constitution. Voices of the Revolution: Two Great Thinkers. This sentiment of Enlightenment spirit was exemplified by the Founding … John Locke's ideas are once again found in an American document. A. • Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, “The Spirt of Laws, 1748” Modern History Sourcebook. The Founding Fathers rose against what they considered the Tyranny of King George, and thus were reluctant to entrust too much power in the executive branch. The French Enlightenment thinker influenced American ideas on how a government should be constructed. Yet Montesquieu’s political treatise had an enormous influence on the work of many others, most notably the founding fathers of the United States Constitution, and Alexis de Tocqueville, who applied Montesquieu’s methods to a study of American society in Democracy in America. Thus Framers agreed with Rousseau that the power of social contract comes from the people; on the other hand, the form of the contract agrees more with Locke in that it is one between the people and government. In Rousseau’s mind this type of contract worked because all members of society surrendered their rights equally and “an offense against one of its members is an offence against the body politic”17. We saw an example of this when Charles I prevented Parliament from meeting from 1629-1640 in response to Parliament’s resistance to his policies. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Rousseau-soccon.html (Accessed on October 4, 2008), The Federalist Papers, “37 Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government by James Madison”. The Enlightenment was crucial in determining almost every aspect of colonial America, most notably in terms of politics, government, and religion. History 106. She argues for rationality, pointing out that Burke’s system would lead to the continuation of slavery, simply because it had been an ancestral tradition. The introduction of the Constitution is essentially a declaration of social contract between the people: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America. This last power given to Congress echoes the fundamental Enlightenment ideal of promoting knowledge and reason. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. Indeed, consider how much the founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution were influenced by Enlightenment era thinkers: there is a common thread tying these two subjects together. ENLIGHTENMENT PHILOSOPHERS The Framers were also familiar with the … Interestingly, the notion that the accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is not explicitly granted in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. The Enlightenment thinkers believed they could implement some of these ideas to create a better influence … Catherine the Great, “Proposals for a New Law Code”. In the Bill of Rights in particular, we see direct and indirect reflections of Enlightenment ideals. Montesquieu wrote, “Were the legislative body to be a considerable time without meeting, this would likewise put an end to liberty”. This led them to establish three branches of government: a legislative, or law-making branch made up of The central premise of social contract is that in order to ensure security and a civil society, individuals must forfeit some liberty. Presumed innocence is another issue relating to crime and punishment that Beccaria and Catherine the Great comment on. Rousseau sums up the question social contract seeks to answer as, “Still, each man’s power and freedom are his main means of self preservation. King Louis XV of France was particularly authoritarian and had absolute power over the country. Explain how Enlightenment philosophy influenced the Framers in their drafting of these key documents. October 5 th, 2008. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Enlightenment issues of crime and punishment, social contract, and separation of governmental powers are echoed throughout the Constitution and Bill of Rights. UNLV Fall Semester. The Declaration of Independence The US Constitution (c) Explain the purpose of government as accepted by the Framers, and identify one major influence … Depending on the extent to which Americans of Christian background were influenced by Deism, their religious beliefs would fall into three categories: non-Christian Deism, Christian Deism, and orthodox Christianity. This influenced the Framers to eventually include a bill of rights in the U.S. Constitution. Rousseau said “Any law that the people have not ratified in person is void”. Historian Donald Lutz found Montesquieu was the most cited thinker of the 1770’s and 1780’s in the American Colonies. U.S. Constitution, Article II., Section 3. U.S. Supreme Court, Coffin vs. U.S., 156 U.S. 432 (1895) http://www.constitution.org/ussc/156-432.htm (Accessed October 1, 2008), Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “The Social Contract, 1763” Modern History Sourcebook. The Declaration of Independence The US Constitution c. Explain the purpose of government as accepted by the Framers, and identify one major influence on the development of that purpose. The people were to elect members to the House of Representatives directly; and, although later changed to direct elections by the people, members of the Senate were “chosen by the Legislature”. “Enlightenment Influences on the Framers of the Constitution” By. These Enlightenment thinkers held much in the way of persuasion over the Framers in the construction of the Constitution. http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html (Accessed on October 2, 2008). Despite this many of the leading figures of the Enlightenment came from France. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/18beccaria.html (Accessed on October 1, 2008, Catherine the Great, “Proposals for a New Law Code”, Modern History Sourcebook. 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