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Book: The U.S. Constitution in Five Minutes

Chapter: 3. Human Nature and the Constitution

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43563


This essay sketches the Constitutional debates during ratification pertaining to human nature -- are people fundamentally good or bad? -- and traces the resulting constitutional principles. The essay argues that despite the acknowledged flaws of human nature, the Founders also understood humanity to possess a degree of virtue essential for the smooth functioning of the constitutional system.

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