John Locke, one of the leading philosophers of the European Enlightenment was very important when it came to political thought in the United States. His ideas of the reasons, nature, and limits of the government became especially important in the development of the Constitution. In one of his most famous writings of that time, Two Treatises on Government (1689), Locke established a theory where personal liberty could coexist with political power ; meaning that the people would agree to obey the government and in return, the government would have the responsibility of respecting the people’s natural rights. In other words, he laid out a social contract theory that provided the philosophy and source of a governing author...
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...e centrality of economics to politics, secularism, and progress played a very important part in the formation of the United States Constitution. With such commonwealth thinkers such as Locke, Montesquieu and Rousseau, the Fathers of the Constitution were able to establish the supreme law of the land. Using the ideals of these enlightenment thinkers, they were able to describe the organization of the government and its relationship with the states and its citizens. The Enlightenment period, and more importantly the philosophies of the thinkers of this time, pretty much changed the entire world viewed everything in the 17th and 18th centuries. For our purposes, it was most important because it set the tone for what citizens go by today; there is still a separation of power, natural rights, and the citizens can live peacefully knowing that there is no supreme ruler.
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