John Locke: The Declaration Of Independence And The Constitution

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The Enlightenment thinkers deserve due credit for creating the foundational building blocks of American government. Though the philosophers wrote their documents in different times, locations, and periods, their main ideas unify together as a masterpiece. Their issues of balancing power, handling the army, ensuring basic freedoms, and guaranteeing democracy are specifically addressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Were it not for these wise, intelligent, and brilliant thinkers, history could be extremely different today. The people who created these vital ideas endured various problems throughout history. However, instead of letting the problem slide by without solution, they devised blueprints to solve it. John Locke, …show more content…
However, the separation of powers theory is not specifically mentioned in the former document. However, just because it is not specifically noted does not mean the writers would have disagreed with each other; in fact, they would have completely agreed, for they both supported the same cause of freedom for all. While Montesquieu developed only one major theory, Jean Jacques Rousseau developed an entire set of ideas and opinions about why government exists in the first place. His idea is known today as the social contract, which is also the title of his most famous work. The social contract states that in the beginning, mankind was at peace in a state of nature, and then created a society by establishing a contract whereby they agreed to live together in harmony for mutual benefit. Through this, the people can guarantee to retain their natural rights, while sacrificing some liberties to ensure it (Roland, …show more content…
This emulates the ideas of both Locke and Rousseau, and demonstrates that if the three branches of government become corrupted beyond repair, Americans can disband the government. Also, the Constitution has its foundations under the social contract (Spiro, 2014). Though not specifically mentioned by name in the document, the Constitution still implies support under the clause “Promote the general welfare,” which states the government must support the country and its people at all times. Combined with the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Declaration, the social contract is strongly supported in the founding articles of America. Finally, Thomas Paine argued in his work, Common Sense, that America must separate from Britain for independence, and forsake the monarchy forever. He also claimed that the purpose of government is to restrain the evil of man. Paine uses similar ideas from Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau, in defense of natural rights, societal government, and the natural shortcomings of

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