How did Montesquieu's view of separation of powers and John Locke's theories related to natural law and the social contract influence the Founding Fathers?

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These two political philosophers were two of the most important influences on the thinking of the Founding Fathers.  Locke’s ideas can be seen very clearly in the Declaration of Independence while Montesquieu’s can be seen in the Constitution.

Locke believed that governments only exist as a result of a social contract.  That is, the people all agree to be ruled by the government.  The reason they do so, he says, is to protect their natural rights.  He says that the people give up minor...

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