A Classical Constitution: Ancient Roots of Our National Charter
Vincent Martin Bonventre
Albany Law School
December 1, 1987
New York Bar Journal, 1987
The American Constitution was the creation of individuals who were well schooled in the classics, and who sought to incorporate the wisdom gained from ancient history and political philosophy. Professor Bonventre outlines the reliance of Adams, Madison, Wilson and other Founders on lessons learned from Greece and Rome. In preparation for the constitutional convention, in fact, several of the leaders engaged in intensive reviews of classical history and political thought. Not surprisingly, the frame of government established in the Constitution, as well as the nation's foundational ideas set forth in the Declaration of Independence, reflect the teachings of Aristotle, Cicero, and other ancient political theorists, as well as the experience of ancient republics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Constitution, Aristotle, Cicero, Greece, Rome, John Adams, James Madison, James Wilson, ancient political philosophy, classicsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 6, 2008
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