Founding of the American Political System

The American political system was influenced by many factors outside the US. The British legal system was the first one. Though the American democracy is nothing like the British monarchy that still remains such, the US Constitution borrowed some principles from the Great Charter (1215) and the Petition of Rights (1628). The English Bill of Rights signed in 1689 also gave the US Constitution several more provisions. Besides legal documents, writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau changed the political experience of the two countries. These natural rights philosophers promoted the rights to liberty and property among other essentials that became crucial to the American Constitution. Liberal Arts and the age of Enlightenment formed the personalities of founders of the American nation. Ideas of Francis Bacon and other intellectuals had their imprint on the American legislation. The political philosophy of ancient Roman and Greek thinkers also impacted the worldview of the fathers of the US Constitution.

Constitution of the US is now the oldest functioning constitution in the world. Now scholars pay considerable attention to political preconditions and motives that drove founders to conclude this document. Some of them think that the founders were driven by self-interest, the others believe that democratic principles lie in the basis of the Constitution. Charles A. Beard’s influential theory suggests that the delegates at the Constitutional convention gathered for purely economic reasons. The researcher argues that political elites aimed to protect their investments in the first place. Al of the delegates appeared to have an economic interest in creating a new constitution. Beard’s point of view, however, is criticized as the motives to the creation of the US Constitution were numerous.

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