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By | October 2012
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Luckily, the Founders were remarkably well-read. The philosophies of great minds like Polybius (Greek political philosopher, mixed form of government and checks and balances), Cicero (philosopher, Natural Law), Thomas Hooker (Natural Law; also, he wrote Connecticut's state constitution, which was one of the modern world's first written constitutions and was a primary influence upon our own Constitution), Montesquieu (political philosopher, Separation of Powers), Sir Edward Coke (legal philosopher), Sir William Blackstone (Natural Law; Ten Commandments), John Locke (Natural law), Adam Smith (economic philosopher, Founder of Capitalism), and Jesus influenced the Founders profoundly. The Founders studied Polybius, whose written works provided a theoretical account of the development of society and government. Polybius saw the history of government as falling into a recurring cycle by which kingship inevitably gave way to successive stages of tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and anarchy, at which point a strong leader would merge and establish himself as king, thus starting the cycle over again. The only hope of breaking the cycle, Polybius maintained, lay in a "mixed" form of government (mixed elements) and certainly not in a pure democracy. The Founders read Adam Smith's groundbreaking and insightful work "The Wealth of Nations," which was published in 1776, and which influenced their decision to embrace and implement capitalism as a means to distribute goods and services within our nation. The Founders also were well-read in the books of the Old Testament. Even though some Founders didn't subscribe to any Christian denomination, the teachings of Jesus and the works of the Old Testament were very held in high regard and with great respect by all. In fact, even though their backgrounds were widely diverse, the fundamental beliefs of the Founders were virtually identical.

What are the principles embedded in the Constitution?

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