With the Constitution of the USA on the line – Which Philosophers Influenced its Framers?

With the Constitution of the USA on the line – Which Philosophers Influenced its Framers?

I thought it might be of interest as it’s discussed endlessly this week.

The ones listed below all wrote from the POV of the Greco-Roman model, Judao-Christian belief, and mostly the Enlightenment period of Philosophy. Don’t forget that many of the framers were thought to be Free Masons as well.

They discussed the role of society, the govt and the will of the people. They discussed the rights of the people as well. What common values and ideals were. What govt structure should look like, whether it should be a monarchy or one leader model or a congress, senate form. Whether it should have a populace or govt run/owned economy and if it should be free or not. They discussed how free the citizens should be; slaves, servants or freedmen and women. Some didn’t much like women. (j./s)

There were questions about whether any govt type could or should last forever, or evolve as society changes. Leaning more toward money, business,commerce or meeting the people’s needs. I don’t think they came up with something that met both paradigms though.

If you know these philosophers, then you know that at least some had ‘interesting’ lives and opinions. Does that mean their ideas were less sound when it came to govt structures? IDK

This post is as involved as you want it to be. You can stop here or look thru the links. And you could find out far more than you ever wanted to know about their theories and backgrounds online.

This week is history in the making for the USA. I hope you’re learning something beyond what the DEMs and REPs are telling you. You may yet need it.



  • Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau



  • add Voltaire, Beccaria, Wollstonecraft



  • add Machiavelli, James Harrington, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill



  • add St Thomas Aquinas

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