Document Type



Supreme Court and Private Rights, 47 Yale Law Journal 1051 (1938)


Some of the social-political theories which influenced the framers of the Constitution were derived from Locke, Hume, Harrington, Coke and Blackstone. These men were less concerned with forms of government than with the relation between society as a whole and its individual members. They were sure that the individual possessed certain indefeasible, primordial rights and that government was designed to protect these rights against encroachment by the state or by classes within it. Perhaps the most important of these private rights was that of property, associated by Locke with liberty and often identified with it.' Thus, the effort of the British Parliament to levy distasteful taxes and impose commercial restrictions was pictured in America as a challenge to fundamental theories of government.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Locke, Hume, Harrington, Coke, Blackstone, Henry, Paine, Parliament, property, liberty