I must correct an article in Tuesday’s edition in which the statement was made that the U.S. Constitution was greatly influenced by Greek and Roman thinking as well as that of English philosophers.
To a much greater extent were the more contemporary works of the French thinkers writing following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1658. Beginning with Fenelon and Fontinelle and continuing through Beumarchais with particular emphasis on Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau, the concept of why an absolute government would no longer work was developed, and the transfer of power to a renewed public citizenry instituted. Many of the Founders and Framers included these authors in their libraries, some in the original French, and it is those minds transferred to the printed page where the philosophic basis of the United States is rooted.
Playa del Coco