While theories of the Enlightenment were gaining popularity worldwide, primary sources suggest that the United States constitution was based on Enlightenment ideas.3 According, to secondary sources “America's Founders knew that it takes more than a perfect plan of government to preserve liberty”3, suggesting that America’s founders based the whole constitution on protecting liberty. However, the founders place more emphasis in protecting certain liberties than others. The Founders of America placed more emphasis on freedom of religion, protection against abusive authority, and the right to an elected government.3
Why was freedom of religion important to the founders of America?
For many ...view middle of the document...
"4 Therefore, the founding fathers of America knew that in order to keep peace in their country, toleration of religion was necessary. Although toleration of religion was extremely important the founding father also placed important attention to protection against an abusive authority.4
Why the founding fathers were concerned about protecting citizens from abusive authorities?
In ancient Europe citizens were not allowed to defend themselves, in other words, they had no rights. Laws were supposed to be an agreement between the community and government, however, when citizens were accused of a crime, they were tortured until they confessed the crime, if there was no crime they were let go, but unfortunately suffered unnecessary punishment.1 However, Cesare Beccaria, theorize an important theory, that “No man can be judged a criminal until he be found guilty”.1 This theory argued that authorities had no right in torturing a citizen whether innocent or guilty in order to get a confession. Beccaria argued that if citizen was guilty “he should only suffer the punishment ordained by the laws, and tortured becomes useless, as his confession is unnecessary”.1
Therefore, the founding fathers considered this theory as an extremely important right. The founding fathers realized that torturing a citizen based on an accusation was unfair and made sure that the right to a fair trial was included in the constitution. The constitution guarantees that a citizen will not be subjective to “cruel and unusual punishment”4 and will not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law”.4 Moreover, the founding fathers knew that in order to consider America free the people must have the power to an elected government.4
Why the founding fathers gave the people the...