the Teachable Moment
What were the Founding Principles?
The Founding Principles are the five standards of government that the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention designing the Constitution of the United States of America firmly believed.
1. RIGHTS COME FROM GOD, NOT GOVERNMENT – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
2. ALL POLITICAL POWER COMES FROM THE PEOPLE – “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government. . .”
3. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST BE LIMITED – States Rights supersede those of the national government, and the States have the right to keep the national government under control. To stop national government’s excessive exercise of power, the three branches of government – Legislative (congress), Executive (President), and Judicial (Supreme Court) – were also set up to keep each other from taking too much power. The Founders were very concerned about corruption in government as they had always seen in European countries ruled by monarchs. 4. A CONSTITUTION MUST BE WRITTEN – In America, there is a written constitution as an agreement on the rules for governance between the people and their elected representatives for each state, as well as one for the entire nation.
5. PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS MUST NOT BE SEIZED – Private property rights are essential for true freedom and liberty, and government shall not infringe on these rights.