The establishment of the United States of America is the defining event in the history of political thought and governance. Our Founding Fathers, influenced by the political philosophers of their time and the historical examples of ancient governments, sought to create a unique system of government that would protect individual rights and prevent descent into tyranny.
The Founding Fathers were profoundly influenced by the writings of political philosophers such as John Locke and Montesquieu. Locke’s “Second Treatise of Government” argued that the purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, including life, liberty, and property. Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws” emphasized the importance of a separation of powers to prevent the abuse of power.
These ideas were reflected in the design of the United States’ founding documents. The Constitution established a federal system with a separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The system was intended to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful and to ensure that the government would be accountable to the people.