The French Enlightenment and the Constitution

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Crabtownboy, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    Many people believe that the founding fathers of the US wrote the Constitution reflecting their religious beliefs. This is not accurate. The ideas came primarily from the philosophical beliefs of the French Enlightment philosophers.

    Here is a list of the articles from Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. See how they fit, especially into the ten amendments [Bill of Rights].

     
  2. mandym

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    John Adams
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States


    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)
     
  3. mandym

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    John Quincy Adams

    Sixth President of the United States

    (Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)
     
  4. mandym

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    Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)
     
  5. mandym

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    James McHenry

    Signer of the Constitution

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)
     
  6. mandym

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    Jedediah Morse

    Patriot and "Father of American Geography"

    (Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)
     
  7. mandym

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    Pennsylvania Supreme Court

    (Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)
     
  8. mandym

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    George Washington

    (Source: George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    I appreciate the replies and the quotes. I am not surprised at any of the quotes, but I do not believe they prove the point nor disprove it.

    I may be wrong, but I do not know of any passages in the Bible that speak to:

    Freedom of speech or expression.
    The separation of church and state.
    The right to bear arms.
    The right of assembly.
    Liberty for mankind.
    Unlawful arrests and detainments.
    A person being innocent until proven guilty.

    I also do not see any of these political beliefs conflicting with the teachings of Jesus. The Court decision quoted in one of the responses may have been true in that time. It is no longer true ... Singapore, India are examples IMHO

    It is an interesting topic ... at least to me.
     
  10. billwald

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    Agree. There is nothing specifically "Christian" about the Constitution except the legalization of slavery.
     
  11. mandym

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    *Warning! Remember, by his own words he only says these types of things to provoke folks. This is called trollish behavior. It should be ignored.
     
  12. rsr

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    While the Founders owed something to the Philosophes (primarily Montesquieu), they were also highly indebted to Locke, and you will find a good dollop of Hobbes and Calvin (see, for instance, Madison's wary view of human nature, which was very unRusseau-like), and a good deal of leftover grievances from the English Civil War.
     
    #12 rsr, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2012
  13. billwald

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    Does "troll" refer to someone who lives under a bridge or to a fishing technique?
     

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