The Constitution, By Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, And Thomas Jefferson

1156 Words 5 Pages
The Constitution, ratified in 1788, has been the defining document of the American government for more than two hundred years. It sought to let the American people have their natural rights and liberties while also having those rights and liberties protected under a government. Liberty refers to the freedoms that a person has, while natural rights refers to the rights against harm, whether physical or intellectual, that a person has. The writers of the Constitution turned to the prominent voices of the Revolutionary Era to find not only what the people thought their natural rights and liberties were, but also how a government could preserve them without becoming despotic. The Constitution responds well to the ideals of natural rights and liberty that had been expressed by the people of the Revolutionary era, most notably Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson.
In 1776, Thomas Paine published the famous pamphlet Common Sense which outlined his ideas on freedom, liberty, and the checking of governmental powers, all concepts central to the Constitution. Perhaps Paine’s most aggressive point throughout the pamphlet is that of the reasonable connection between the people and their representatives. “[P]rudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a…

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