Which Enlightenment idea was included in the U.S. Constitution before the Bill of Rights?

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There are many Enlightenment ideas reflected in the U.S. Constitution. Generally, the concepts of limited government, representative government, the rule of law, popular sovereignty, religious tolerance (as expressed in the outlawing of religious tests), and others underlie much of the Constitution. Perhaps the Enlightenment philosophe whose ideas are most obvious...

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There are many Enlightenment ideas reflected in the U.S. Constitution. Generally, the concepts of limited government, representative government, the rule of law, popular sovereignty, religious tolerance (as expressed in the outlawing of religious tests), and others underlie much of the Constitution. Perhaps the Enlightenment philosophe whose ideas are most obvious in the document (before the Bill of Rights) is the Baron de Montesquieu. Montesquieu had argued in his book The Spirit of the Laws that an ideal government divided sovereignty between legislators, a judiciary and a king. He based his theory on the British system of government, which he thought was the best in the world, and the idea was that dividing power might stop the development of despotic government. The Framers of the Constitution (and for that matter the state constitutions that preceded it) drew on this idea in their creation of a government that featured a legislature, executive, and a judicial branch. Montesquieu was read and admired by many of the Framers, especially James Madison.

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