The US Constitution for the People or the Nation
Age of Enlightenment, an ideology that supported, among other issues, a government built and operated by the general population, one governed by laws, not a monarchy. One needs to look at the history of the document, Bill of Rights, and the Justice System created by the Constitution to realize that it supports rights for all and not for the elite.John Locke, Baron Montesquieu, and Jean-Jaques Rousseau were examples of the greatest philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Europe. These and other ‘enlightened thinkers’ espoused their views at about the time of the founding of the United States and were heavily influential in the formation of the Founding Father’s ideology regarding the role of government. It was in this era of Enlightenment that the idea of equality for all was born which was the foremost inspiration for the Constitution. The Constitution was inspired by the Magna Carta and British philosopher John Locke helped to lay the foundation for the Founders’ deep belief in personal freedoms. Locke argues the power of the government is provided by the people and therefore is not above the laws of the people. Because it was an agent for the people, the government should be restricted to working to enforce laws that are developed for the good of the people and should not involve itself with matters that did not directly and materially relate to the general welfare of the population (Constant, 1995). Within this context, Locke says it is important to always remember that the right of enforcement is not by nature the right of the ruler. “This is a right which each individual brings to society in his own person. Therefore, society does not create the right of property and, except within certain limits, cannot just regulate it. At least in part, both society and civil government exist to protect the prior right to private property” (Dolhenty, 2003). Political power, then, consists of the powers to establish laws and define punishments for the violation of those laws, enforcing the laws that have been established and to defend the populace from any kind of foreign attack.