Political Theories Essay
Political Theories Essay: Introduction
Throughout history, there were specific events such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that have already shaped the region. In today's world, one may readily claim that incidents that occur in the United States have the potential of affecting the whole world economically. This paper examines the particular views of government as articulated in the above-mentioned documents in terms of their visions, approaches, and ideals of a government. Although there exist slight philosophical differences, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Consitution are slightly similar in terms of their values and highlights.
Functioning of government and states, nature, purposes, and the origin are among the elements of political theory. Although political philosophy (concerned on essentiality with ideas) concentrates on with the actual ideas attributed to such elements, political theories refer to the pragmatic results and applicability to reach the desired ends in terms of government and state management (Reck 3). In other words, political theory aims to determine the root ideas of an ideal government and realize how such ideas should be implemented. Therefore, one can analyze the political theories and triggers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by examining thoroughly.
Declaration of Independence, which was adopted on July 4, 1776, can be broadly summarized in 3 points. Accordingly, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and life are among the inalienable rights of people (Reck 7). Also, the fact that all men are created as equals, and individuals have a civic duty on protecting such rights for others and themselves are among the other significant points (Reck 7). In other words, the Declaration of Independence is highly concentrated on rights that are known to be essential in many democratic and developed countries as of today.
The author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, "was undoubtedly the central figure in the early development of American democracy" (Merriam 24, para. 3). Therefore, one should analyze into Jefferson's political theory to get a meticulous overview. Jefferson's justification for the Declaration counted highly on "John Locke's theory of natural rights as he believed that the British Government was depriving the colonists of natural liberty and equality" (CITE HERE). Then, Jefferson claimed as "All men are created equal" (Declaration of Independence). In this sense, one may highlight that his idea stems from Locke's idea of "a state also of equality" (Locke 287). Furthermore, Jefferson also made use of Rousseau's social contract theory. As stated, "Governments are instituted…deriving their powers from the consent of the governed" (Declaration of Independence). Rousseau stated On the Social Contract that this contract was a "reciprocal commitment" (Rousseau 433).
Also, the rebel against the British shaped the course of independence. When Americans concentrated on rebelling, the ideas of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were among the justification elements, especially by Jefferson. In this direction, one may interpret that their political theories were significant to shape societies. In particular, the theory of equality and natural liberty and the theory of social contract triggered a sense of rebel among colonists against the British who seemed not to comply with such. Therefore, the Declaration of Independence seems to comply with a mixture of Jefferson, Rousseau, and Locke's theories of how a government should act against its citizens.
The Constitution, which was signed in 1787 in Philadelphia by delegates, founded the fundamental laws, government, and ensured the essential rights for citizens. Accordingly, three fundamental ideals as classic republicanism, constitutionalism, and natural rights, along with the social contract theorists as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Hobbes, are among the rooted political philosophies that led to the adoption of U.S. Constitution (Reck 12). In short, Locke’s theory counted heavily on a civil state, bilateral pragmatism, and consent of the governed (Locke 128). Subsequently, one may interpret that people cannot survive on their own without a government and a well-founded democratic Constitution. Also, those people must give their consent to be governed and enter into a social contract, as highlighted by Locke (Locke 77). In this sense, there exists a strong correlation between the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. In other words, they resemble a lot in terms of their vision, philosophy, and approach to a favorable government or way of being governed. Rather than a strong contradiction, one may infer that the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution philosophies and theories are highly similar.
Political Theories Essay: Conclusion
In conclusion, the paper analyzes and examines the particular views of government as articulated in the above-mentioned documents in terms of their visions, approaches, and ideals of a government. Functioning of government and states, nature, purposes, and the origin are among the elements of political theory. The ideas of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were among the justification elements, especially by Jefferson. Similarly, delegates concentrated on such values to create a Constitution. After all, although there exist slight philosophical differences, the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Consitution are slightly similar in terms of their values and highlights.
Locke, John. “Second Treatise.” John Locke: Two Treatises of Government, pp. 265–428., doi:10.1017/cbo9780511810268.011.
Merriam, C. E. “The Political Theory of Jefferson.” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 1, 1902, p. 24., doi:10.2307/2140379.
Reck, Andrew J. “The Philosophical Background of the American Constitution(s).” Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, vol. 19, 1985, pp. 273–293., doi:10.1017/s0957042x00004636.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Basic Political Writings: Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts ; Discourse on the Origin of Inequality ; Discourse on Political Economy ; On the Social Contract. Hackett Pub. Co., 1987.