Founding Fathers: Age of Realism

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After a hard won bitter revolution, America was given the opportunity to create its own government. The Founding Fathers did not want to create another monarchy, but instead a republic, or representative government, was formed. The Constitution was organized to establish laws for government and people. The Founding Father’s political theory was antithesis to American democratic faith. The philosophy of the founding fathers is analyzed including the idea of stability in government, republicanism, and the nature of man.

The Constitution was issued by prominent figures of society such as lawyers, businessmen, merchants, or investors. Their intellectual ideas were based on Calvinistic views and from Hobbes’s theory. They believed in the sense of human evil and that men are selfish. The makers of the constitution imagined a humane and democratic society that could be controlled by government. The Founding Fathers were concerned to create a government to regulate trade and institute class structure. The actions of citizens from the Shay’s rebellion generated a fear of uprising from lower classes. The Fathers wanted a “balance government” that would not create conflicts among classes. During the convention in Philadelphia, George Washington addressed his view on stability of the people. He urged the delegates not to make a document that only “pleased the people.” Fair treatment within classes was necessary but in contradiction to the Founding fathers belief, “man is an unregenerate rebel who has to be controlled.” (page 7)

The founding fathers believed in representative government, based on sovereignty and emphasis on civic virtue. They opposed arbitrary rule indicated by the revolution against Britain. The reason for independence ...

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...ible voice in society.” (Page 18) Freedom for property was only given to worthy men. This contradicts the statement that all men are created equal. The fathers began to regulate trade acting like mercantilists, rather then giving an option of “freedom of trade.” “Liberty did not mean free access to the nation’s unappropriated wealth.” (Page 15) The constitutionalists wanted to gain negative liberties.

To create stability and prevent internal conflict the founding fathers instituted a republic. This allowed wiser and suitable candidates to control government. The Fathers had a different interpretation of liberty, in which liberty was linked to the possession of property. The misconception of man to change was a predicament in the philosophy of the Fathers. The Founding Fathers laid a higher order of law and established a government that will last for centuries.
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