Divine right of kings (the monarchy )—from the third century on, kings in Europe claimed that their right to rule the people of their state was absolute and came directly from God and their claim was supported by the Church; the theory was that God gave the rights of the people and the power to rule them directly; the people did not own their lives, their liberty, or property, as all were entrusted to the king by God; the concept of “natural rights” disputes the “divine right of kings.” John Locke and his Second Treatise on Civil Government (1698 )— John Locke’s refutation of the divine right of kings argued during the Enlightenment that God did not give these rights to the king, that these “natural rights,” the rights of man to their lives, liberty, and property, were given directly to each individual man directly by God and that any government over men had to
be one that operated with the consent of those governed; this social contract between man and the state (the king) was based on those being governed consenting to give over some of their natural rights to the state, which, in turn provided protection and services to the people being governed. natural rights —As stated by Locke, each individual’s right to “life, liberty, and property,” rights given to each man directly from God, not to the king; for a government to be formed, the people must consent to be governed. Locke’s influence on Jefferson— Jefferson used Locke’s ideas in the Declaration of Independence which he wrote for the Continental Congress in 1776, referring to the “unalienable rights” of all men to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness .... ” The Declaration of Independence was a statement by the Continental Congress to British government and the world at large as to why they were breaking away from their mother country and establishing their own government in America; the Declaration of Independence was not a constitution or legislation, it was a statement by those calling for independence from Great Britain, independence based on many of the ideas of Locke and other Enlightenment authors. 3/5ths Compromise --Compromise during Constitutional Convention of 1787 dealing with representation in the House of Representatives for the southern states; southern states would be allowed to count each of its slaves as 3/5ths of a person for purposes of counting citizens for representation in the U.S. House Article VII of the Constitution of 1789 required that only 9 of the 13 states were needed to ratify the new U.S. Constitution Charles Beard —In his book, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States , Beard put forth the idea that the Founding Fathers were not totally selfless men, but were motivated by their own economic self-interest in abandoning the Articles of Confederation and creating the Constitution of 1789.
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- Winter '20
- Government, US Supreme Court