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HORT PAPER: OUR CONSTITUTIONAL HERITAGE ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
OVERVIEW
The purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to research and reflect on the historical
tradition the Founding Fathers rooted themselves in when writing our founding documents. The
Founding Fathers did not invent democracy; rather, they drew upon a long history of democratic
thought dating back to Ancient Greece. You’ll have the opportunity to explain the historical
influences on the American Founding in this assignment.
James McClellan begins Liberty, Order, and Justice with the following words: “The American
Constitution is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary document.” For this paper, provide an
explanation of that statement. Discuss the historical traditions in which the American founders
grounded themselves.
INSTRUCTIONS
Your paper must address the following 4 major questions (McClellan will help you on the first
two questions, Lutz on question 3, and then both authors will help you with question four):
1. What did the Greco-Roman tradition contribute to the American constitutional
system?
2. What did the English common-law tradition contribute to the American
constitutional system?
3. How did the American constitutional system itself specifically develop from a
covenant, to a charter, to a constitutional system?
4. What are the specific, major political ideas of the Founding Fathers as a
consequence of being rooted in this tradition?
Be sure to refer to the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, and the
Fundamental Order of Connecticut, among others, in your answer.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.