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Constitution Day 2020: Constitutional Influences

eBooks of Texts That Influenced the U.S. Constitution

Works of John Locke

This is an electronic edition of the complete essays complemented by author biography. Table of Contents. A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689). Two Treatises of Government (1689). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). Of the Conduct of the Understanding (1706). Appendix: . John Locke Biography. Setup and Navigation. About.

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England

A reprint of the first edition with supplement. The most significant compendium of law in the English world. A painstaking codification & analysis of English Common Law which became the most influential work in the history of English law.

The Magna Carta

Immerse yourself in one of the most significant documents ever penned. Originally enacted in 1215, some sections of the Magna Carta remain on the books as legally enforced statutes in parts of the U.K. today. Legal and political scholars have detailed the Magna Carta's far-reaching influence on the development of the legal and sociocultural systems of countries around the world.

Cato's Letters; or, Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects (3rd ed., corr.)

"The Letters are considered a seminal work in the tradition of the Commonwealth men. The 144 essays were published originally in the London Journal, later in the British Journal, condemning corruption and lack of morality within the British political system and warning against tyranny and abusing power."

Common Sense

In 1776, America was a hotbed of enlightenment and revolution. Thomas Paine not only spurred his fellow Americans to action but soon came to symbolize the spirit of the Revolution. His elegantly persuasive pieces spoke to the hearts and minds of those fighting for freedom.

First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, Or, a Commentary upon Littleton

"The Institutes of the Lawes of England are a series of legal treatises written by Sir Edward Coke. They were first published, in stages, between 1628 and 1644."

Gulliver's Travels

From the world's greatest satirist, the classic adventures of the intrepid Gulliver Broken into four parts, Gulliver's Travels marks the progress of a gallant explorer as he sails into the unknown, visiting surreal worlds like Brobdingnag, a realm filled with gigantic men; Lilliput, a diminutive land filled with pint-size people; Laputa, a floating island in the sky; and even the fabled land known as Japan. Along the way, Gulliver solves problems, starts and ends wars, and gets into--and back out of--one hot pot after another.

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1

"The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire[a] is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon. It traces Western civilization (as well as the Islamic and Mongolian conquests) from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium."

On Crimes and Punishments

Penal laws, so considerable a part of every system of legislation, and of so great importance to the happiness, peace, and security of every member of society, are still so imperfect, and are attended with so many unnecessary circumstances of cruelty in all nations, that an attempt to reduce them to the standard of reason must be interesting to all mankind. Its is not surprising, then, that this little book has engaged the attention of all ranks of people in every part of Europe.


"Politics is a work of political philosophy by Aristotle, a 4th-century BC Greek philosopher."

The Prince

The world's most influential--and controversial--treatise on politics Composed in exile and published posthumously, The Prince is Niccolò Machiavelli's legacy and the foundation of modern political theory. Drawing on his firsthand experiences as a diplomat and military commander in the Florentine Republic, Machiavelli disregards the rhetorical flourishes and sentimentality typically found in sixteenth-century mirrors for princes--guides instructing noblemen in the fine art of ruling--and gets straight to practical matters: how to eliminate rivals, when to use force, whether it is better to be loved or feared.

An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations

The Wealth of Nations is a treasured classic of political economy. First published in March of 1776, Adam Smith wrote the book to influence a special audience - the British Parliament - and its arguments in the early spring of that year pressed for peace and cooperation with Britain's colonies rather than war.Smith's message was that economic exploitation, through the monopoly trade of empire, stifled wealth-creation in both home and foreign lands.

Constitutional Influences

The framers of the United States Constitution were influenced by a number of contemporary and historical legal and philosophical works. 

What are some books, music, movies, or television shows that influence your thoughts about the modern United States?