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The Influences of the Constitution: Magna Carta, John Locke, and Baron De Montesquieu

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    Magna Carta signed

    Magna Carta signed
    King John of England signed the Magna Carta. Magna Carta was the first document that wrote the basic principle that the king and the government were not above the law. So English monarchs had to obey the law after Magna Carta was signed. King John also agreed to not raise taxes without asking the Great Council. And Magna Carta also stated rights, rights to trial by jury, and the right to private property. This strongly influenced Americans. And later, a free-enterprise system was developed.
  • The Mayflower compact

    The Mayflower compact
    Americans and the founding fathers also relied on written documents, documents that clearly identified the powers and limits of government. The Mayflower compact was one of them. Mayflower Compact was the first document of self-government in North America.
  • The English bill of rights

    The English bill of rights
    The English bill of rights went further in protecting the rights of citizens. The document said that parliamentary elections to be held regularly. The English bill of rights upheld the right to trial by jury and also affirmed the right of habeas corpus (Idea that no person could be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime)
  • Two Treaties of Government

    Two Treaties of Government
    An English writer named John Locke published a book called "Two Treaties of Government". In the book, he stated 2 important ideas. First, he stated that all people had natural rights to life, liberty, and property. And that government is an agreement between the ruler and the ruled. And he suggested that rulers must protect and enforce the law for people but if the ruler violates people's life, people have the right to rebel against them. His idea greatly influenced the American people.
  • The Spirit of the Laws

    The Spirit of the Laws
    "The spirit of the Laws" is a book written by Baron de Montesquieu. In this book, he stressed the importance of rule of law. He said that the powers of government should be clearly defined and divided, and he suggested creating 3 separate branches to be created: the legislative, executive, and judicial. This idea is known as the separation of powers. It prevents to keep any person/group from gaining too much power. He greatly influenced American ideas of how a government should be constructed.
  • First American constitution created (Articles of Confederation)

    First American constitution created (Articles of Confederation)
    It was very hard to write a constitution at first that all states would approve, but they believed that all colonies needed to be united as a whole nation to win independence. After the debate, the continental congress approved the first American constitution. The articles of confederation created a very loose alliance of 13 independent states. It also talks about the duties of the three main parts of government: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.