Philosophy Of American Government


Philosophy Of American Government Essay, Research Paper

The ideas that form the basis of the American governmental tradition

have come from a number of different sources including Voltaire, John Locke,

and Montesquieu.

John Locke, was from England. He believed in the Natural Rights of Life,

Liberty and Property for the people. Locke’s idea’s of Natural Rights was

adapted into the U.S. Political Structure through the Bill of Rights ( a formal list of

citizens rights and freedoms ). It says in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or

prohibiting the free exercise, thereof, or the right of the people peaceable to

assemble.”. Which makes John Locke’s idea’s of Natural Rights, true for the USA

John Locke also has ideas of Social Contract, how the government power

comes from the people. This idea of the Social Contract is explained in the

Declaration of Independence ( The document, written by Thomas Jefferson in

1776, in which the delegates of the Continental Congress declared the

Colonies’ independence from Britain ), and it was adapted into the political

structure. It says that “ It is there right, it is there duty, to throw off such

Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”. This supports

the idea of John Lockes theory of Power comes from the people. That if the law

is bad or disobeyed the people have the right to change it. He also supported

the idea of Right to Revolution, where the government is changed if its not

doing the job. This can also be found and supported in the Declaration of

Independence. In the Declaration it says that “ It is the right of the people to

alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on

such principles and organizing its powers from the consent of the governed”.

That states that it is clear that the idea of Right to Revolution is adapted into the

U.S. political structure. As you can see John Locke has contributed and

influenced greatly to the U.S. with his ideas on Natural Rights, the Social

Contract, and with the Right to Revolution.

Voltaire has his own ideas that help with the U.S. He is from France, and

he believes and supports Religious Freedom. This is stated in the Bill of Rights….

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