Constitutional Ideology - the philosophy behind it



hey cypher here so I'm sure you guys have heard someone spouting off about what the Founding Fathers intended or whatever kind of rhetoric you want now guessing anyone's future intent about 200 some odd years after the supposed intent is foolish enough but let's divest the squabble entirely today I'm going to show you that the founding fathers did not come up with declaration or the Constitution in an ideological vacuum and in many ways implemented the ideas of others from a century before them the glory for the idea ought to go to the philosophers it's fairly easy to see Roman influence on the Constitution look around DC and you'll see more Roman style pillars than in Rome itself we still call one of the houses of Congress the Senate but that is pretty much parody not recreation the ideology that the founders derived everything from stems from the political philosophy of the last century and a half before the Revolution specifically social contract theory made it all possible you see the Constitution is the first instance of intended government structure for a large country before that the rules were created as people went along written for instance still lacks a constitution to this day she is made up of smaller documents starting from the Magna Carta all the way to the most recent bills passed by Parliament no single constitutional document to be had philosophers started trying to make sense of the mess of how governments form and what rules that since the divine ride explanation had been thrown out along with the English Civil War of 1642 to 1651 at the end of that war thomas hobbes wrote the leviathan a fiery somewhat hard to read book which created social contract theory he guessed that men was naturally disposed to have every individual try to fight one another and it was only through the agreement of the populace to follow a great leader that this war of all against all could be stopped essentially he advocated Kings by social contract this may seem like Hobbes was arguing for the status quo but in 1651 all the way to 1660 England had no King John Locke was the next important philosopher if not the most important philosopher he has been likened to the Bible for the USA's founding fathers he was notable for a lot of philosophy including the underpinnings for most modern science and its epistemology but were only interested in his political philosophy which is normally called classical liberalism Lux book the two treatises on government gave us much of the ideas that the founders followed he scrapped Hobbes idea about the war of all against all because this epistemology said that we started off as blank slates also known as tabula rasa and could have no natural inclination for war this tabula rasa made all men eat this is where we get the quote all men are created equal which is a direct quote but Locke Locke been theorized what property rights really were he thought one had to put something into the land to own it not simply by the rights I'm oversimplifying here but in his view it is the house itself that lets someone claim a place has their own kind of different from what we have today but politics always gets in the way of ideals so long that property was the reason why government formed people gathered together to keep their natural rights to life liberty and the pursuit of property which Jefferson changed in the second draft of the Declaration to the pursuit of happiness Locke gave us the essential ideology of why government should function but a Frenchman named Montesquieu gave us how Montesquieu essentially wrote the constitution for the founders he was the one who came up with the separation of powers and how they shed and balanced his theories were in many pamphlets and books of his but his book spirit of the law is the most important he rooted his idea in how the English Parliament had developed after the Glorious Revolution but he changed the formula to what we would recognize in our own government the three branches of government and who holds what powers come from Montesquieu the conjunction of these theories is often called liberalism people will misuse the term today but it was somewhat close to what we call libertarianism but liberalism isn't as radical though it was plenty radical in comparison to the 1770s Tory government so that about covers everything one needs to come up with a liberal form of government the social contract natural rights and the separation of powers Hobbes Locke and Montesquieu created these ideas the founders implemented them so when one asks what the founders intended maybe we should ask what the philosophers intended this is just one of many ways that philosophy affects us in inescapable ways as John Keynes once wrote the ideas of philosophers right or wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood indeed the world is ruled by little else men who believe themselves exempt of intellectual influence are usually slaves of a defunct philosophy so be sure to LIKE share and subscribe watch some my other videos too while you're at it I'll see you next time




Comments
  1. So you're saying that the founding fathers built this nation on a foundation that was laid a century before, no doubt using raw materials of ideas that Hobbes, Locke and Montesquieu had selected from centuries or even millennia of experiments with various philosophies and governances. Sounds good to me.

  2. Thomas Jefferson had very well elaborated a golden mean between Thomas Hobbes' and John Locke's analysis of peoples' nature and the need for a government. He had said, "If people have been angels, there would have been no need of a government. But actually people are far from being angels, that's why we need a government."

  3. I felt like this video could be titled "The Blade Runner Mix"
    The last minute of this video… was… EPIC!

  4. Fortunately I no longer what the Constitution says. I happen to hold some values that arguably correlate to things expressed in the "Bill of Rights", but I do not treat it like it's the Inspired Word of God.

    The Constitution proper was more Hamiltonian, and thus in my view proto-Fascist.

  5. UK should have had a constitution a long time ago…it did come close with Cromwell…meh, monarchy , get rid of it

  6. I had a history professor put it this way "the constitution is an 18th century document written by 18th century men with 18th century interests. It was written to get passed."

  7. The ideas of philosophers, specifically Western Philosophers of Europe, influenced the founding fathers of the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *