Thursday, November 03, 2005

How Charles Carroll Influenced U.S. Founding Fathers

See the article, How Charles Carroll Influenced U.S. Founding Fathers from la nouvelle théologie (http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/). The "Whig view" of American history, popular until the 1960s, ignored some aspects of the Revolution: "...the Founding Fathers, in their recovery of natural law and in other ways ...unknowingly reinvented the Catholic political tradition...".

The Founders naturally rejected the objectively immoral systems of Absolutism and the "Divine Right of Kings"; however, their faith in the parliamentary system of the Puritans was shattered by the Intolerable Acts. While the Founders were seeking good political theory, Charles Carroll reintroduced the traditional notion of the "Natural Law", which forms the philosophical basis of Catholic moral teaching and is the background of the Common Law of England.

Natural Law principles in American Jurisprudence were weakened over time, never being really understood, and have been essentially abandoned by the 1970s.


English Common Law developed under that nation's Catholic era. Formerly, disputes between parties were settled by "Trial by Battle" where the strongest won, or by appeals to superstition in the "Trial by Ordeal". Ecclesiastical courts changed matters by developing a rational and moral method of justice in the philosophical tradition of Plato, Aristotle, Roman jurisprudence, and the Doctors of the Church. But now the Common Law tradition has been lost and the old moral order is gone; instead social change is decided by new kind of Trial by Battle, where the strongest still win.

We hope that the new Supreme Court can reintroduce morality and rationality back into the American legal system.

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