The Founding Documents Essay by Peter Pen

The Founding Documents
This paper traces the evolution of the concept of individual rights expressed in the U.S. Constitution by examining the founding documents written prior to the Constitutional Convention.
# 65156 | 1,145 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2006
Published on Apr 27, 2006 in History (British) , History (U.S. Before 1865) , Political Science (U.S.)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper explains that each founding document critical to the U.S. Constitution makes reference to the importance of man's free right to exercise his political will under a tolerant and open form of government. Furthermore, key concepts like the right to a fair trial and land and property ownership rights were underscored in these earlier founding documents. The author defines the founding documents as the "Magna Carta", the "Mayflower Compact", the "Virginia Declaration of Rights", the "Declaration of Independence", the "Articles of Confederation" and the "Federalist Papers". The paper relates that the concepts of "all men being created equal" and having the unalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as presented in the preamble of the U.S. Declaration of Independence are the fundamental concepts of freedom incorporated into the present-day constitution and powerful core principles upon which future democratic documents will be written.

From the Paper:

"The Magna Carta of 1215 A.D. was the first of these documents, as an English liberty charter decreed by King John. This early document covered broad areas from property rights to rights of heirs, marriage laws, and criminal prosecution. Article 52 states "To any man whom we have deprived or dispossessed of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, without the lawful judgment of his equals, we will at once restore these," making note of civil liberties of men, although based on the notions of an English royal class system."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

The Founding Documents (2006, April 27) Retrieved September 25, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Founding Documents" 27 April 2006. Web. 25 September. 2023. <>