The Enlightenment and the Constitution Many of the ideas in the Constitution are based off of the ideas

of many Enlightenment thinkers. Enlightenment Idea Locke A government’s power comes from the consent of the people. Montesquieu Separation of powers Rousseau Direct Democracy Voltaire Free speech, religious toleration Beccaria Accused have rights, not torture U.S. Constitution Preamble begins “We the people of the United States” to establish legitimacy Creates representative government Limits government powers Federal system of government Powers divided among three branches System of checks and balances Public election of president and Congress Bill of Rights provides for freedom of speech and religion Bill of Rights protects rights of accused and prohibits cruel and unusual punishment

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