GOVT 421 Short Paper 1
The purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to research and reflect on the historical tradition the Founding Fathers rooted themselves in when writing our founding documents.
James McClellan begins Liberty, Order, and Justice with the following words: “The American Constitution is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary document.” For this paper, provide an explanation of that statement. Discuss the historical traditions in which the American founders grounded themselves.
Your paper must address the following 4 major questions:
- What did the Greco-Roman tradition contribute to the American constitutional system?
- What did the English common-law tradition contribute to the American constitutional system?
- How did the American constitutional system itself specifically develop from a covenant, to a charter, to a constitutional system?
- What are the specific, major political ideas of the Founding Fathers as a consequence of being rooted in this tradition?
Be sure to refer to the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, and the Fundamental Order of Connecticut, among others, in your answer.