Although the term has become popularized in American history, to the point in which some people believe Americans invented the term, the truth of the matter is that popular sovereignty as an idea has been around for several centuries. To be sure, a popular sovereignty definition is going to focus keenly on American history. However, there is a little more to a definition of popular sovereignty that you are going to want to keep in mind.
1. The Origins Of Popular Sovereignty Go Back To The 17th Century
The modern version of this concept can be traced back to the mid-17th century. The social contracts establishment created by such figures as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke put forth works and ideas that developed into what later became the concept of popular sovereignty. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the author of The Social Contract. This played a significant role in the creation of popular sovereignty, as well.
2. It Became Popular With Americans
The concept of popular sovereignty proved to be particularly popular with American colonists during the Revolutionary War. It was during this time period that the notion of a sovereignty dictated by a single ruler or monarchy was rejected. Rather, popular sovereignty believed that authority, legality, and legitimacy of governments should be created through the will or consent of the people. Benjamin Franklin ran with the notion established by men like John Locke. Popular sovereignty would form the foundation for the colonists wished to achieve.
3. It Was A Major Influence On The Declaration Of Independence
Not surprisingly, this concept proved to have a considerable measure of influence on the creation of the Declaration of Independence. It is popular sovereignty that emphasizes the notion that all people are deserving of rights such as Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. There is no question that the relationship between popular sovereignty and the formation of the United States is a profound one.
4. It Is The First Of The Seven Principles Of The Constitution
The popular sovereignty idea proved to be crucial in defining what the United States of America was going to offer, what it was going to mean, and what it was going to do about its people. It is the first of the Seven Principles of the Constitution. However, looking at the other six will reveal something interesting.
5. The Influence Is Everywhere
If you look over the other six principles, you will notice that popular sovereignty influences all of them.