The Philosophical Background of the American Constitution

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 19:273-293 (1985)
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The Constitution of the United States was constructed by men influenced by fundamental ideas of what a republic should be. These ideas hark back to the ancient philosophers and historians, and were further articulated and developed in modern times. From time to time scholars have sought to collect and reprint selections from the classical, biblical, and modern sources upon which the Founding Fathers fed. Remarkably, however, the best anthology of these sources to understand the republican idea that undergirds the Federal Constitution was prepared on the eve of the Constitutional Convention by John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, then in London as American envoy to Great Britain and eventually the second President of the United States. I refer to Adams' A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, against the attack of M. Turgot, in his letter to Dr. Price, 22 March, 1778.



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References found in this work

Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.Garry Wills & Morton White - 1978 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 15 (4):340-344.
Reflections on Human Nature.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):269-270.
The Philosophy of the American Revolution.Morton White - 1978 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 12 (4):267-271.
Reflections on Human Nature.I. G. Wallace - 1963 - Philosophical Quarterly 13 (53):369-370.
The Philosophy of the American Revolution.William Gerber - 1981 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (4):566-567.

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