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Montesquieu 's Views On The Constitution

Decent Essays
The plaintiff argues that the Framers of the Constitution infringed upon the authors of various historical documents that influenced the Constitution. The defendant would like to rebuke the said claim and provides several reasons why. Montesquieu’s most important contribution to political theory in the U.S. are his ideas and works on the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, which became the foundation of the U.S. Constitution. Although the Framers of the Constitution adopted his ideas, they were not completely plagiarized. A related idea of Montesquieu’s was that checks and balances should be in place to keep each branch in control. Madison and the other Framers were influenced by these ideas and constructed many well thought out checks and balances that are unique to the U.S. form of government. This is an example of paraphrasing someone’s ideas. In fact, Montesquieu also paraphrased other’s ideas. Montesquieu was but one of many Enlightenment influences on the Constitution, and many of these other works and ideas influenced Montesquieu himself in his “Spirit of Laws”. For instance, John Locke not only influenced the American Founders, but also was paraphrased by Montesquieu, as many of Locke’s concepts of natural rights appear in both the Constitution and in “The Spirit of Laws”. This shows that one cannot claim an idea and not expect other people to adapt it, and as such, the Framers have the right to use theories
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