Contributions to American Democracy

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, John Locke, Political philosophy Pages: 2 (621 words) Published: March 9, 2012
Kevin Silva
History Accelerated
Mr. Binger
Contributions To American Democracy
Have you ever wondered where we got our governmental ideas from? It turns out that there are three men that influenced our decisions for a democracy by providing the guidelines or basics for the right governmental system. Those men’s names and John Locke, Baron De Montesquieu, and Francois Marie Arouet or better known by his pen name Voltaire. They all made great advances that later in time helped us to give rights to all of the people within a country. John Locke, Baron De Montesquieu, and Voltaire during the Enlightenment contributed to Democracy by developing ideas that gave people more rights and freedoms.

John Locke is among the most influential political philosophers of the modern period. In the Two Treatises of Government, he defended the claim that men are by nature free and equal against claims that God had made all people naturally subject to a monarch. “He argued that people have rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property, that have a foundation independent of the laws of any particular society.” (Tuckness). Because of this idea John Locke even went to jail, and he still wanted his philosophies to succeed for the good of the people. Not only did he introduce natural rights and give freedoms to our American people, but he also influenced the French and Japanese Constitution. By taking Lockes ideas, it truly shows that he was a great philosopher.

Montesquieu also followed this tradition by providing the rights and freedoms to people just like John Locke and other philosophers at the time. “Montesquieu within the natural law tradition, particularly in relation to Thomas Hobbes, and considers to what extent his theory promotes natural law or natural rights thinking.” (The Witherspoon Institute). Montesquieu argued that man is capable of grasping four laws of nature through direct, practical experience: first, man desires and seeks nourishment for...
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