18th November 2019

constitutionfacts
15

Which Enlightenment philosopher most directly influenced the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson used the thoughts first penned by John Locke while writing the Declaration of Independence. The phrase "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness," was an idea first considered by Locke in his Two Treatises on Government.

How did the ideas of the Enlightenment influence the constitution?

Montesquieu's ideas were also used in the US constitution. Montesquieu believed in the separation of power with checks and balances. Checks and balances are put in place to ensure that no one branch of government has too much power. Other enlightenment thinkers have influence on the US constitution.
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