Philosophical Roots of American Government Essay

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Philosophical Roots of American Government

The philosophical and political resources that early American political leaders turned to as guidelines to be used in order to form "a more perfect government" will be reviewed in this paper.

Some of the Hallmarks of the American Government

When the founding fathers were working to create a new government -- independent of the British -- they used theories and philosophies from great thinkers in the past. The principal concern for the founders was the relationship between the government and the people. In the text, American Government (Heineman, et al.) the author explains that during the Constitutional Convention the Federalists (who supported the proposed Constitution following the convention in 1787) and the anti-Federalists (who did not support the proposed Constitution) went head-to-head in their debates over what the Constitution should be and what it should do.

What were the theories and strategies of government that the founders referenced to come up with the American Constitution?

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For example, in Aristotle's work, Politics, the iconic Greek philosophers emphasized that the people "…should have a significant role in their own governance"; the democratic ideals put forth by Aristotle indicated that democracy was the "most virtuous form of government" (although not the ideal form of government) (Heineman, 20). Another ancient idea of democracy was also taken into consideration, that of Marsiglio of Padua (1280-1343), who believed that laws should be created by "…the people of body of citizens" which is the "more weighty part" of the government (Heineman, 21).

Essay on Philosophical Roots of American Government the Philosophical Assignment

In the French Vindiciae (1579), the king is to be "the servant to the public" and while the people are the owners of the "commonwealth" (seen as a vessel), the king is just the pilot, helping to steer. This is also a philosophy that takes its source from the concept of democracy. At the Constitutional Convention a great deal… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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