Originally Posted by JimPage
What you say, Al, is true. But philosophy of the documents was common among the founders. I still maintain that they should be taken as a group because they are inextricably related to both history and philosophy. To say Jefferson has no influence on the Constitution is bisarre.
Inextricably related? Between those two, are the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union (the documents full title). One is related to the other only by the liberal philosophies, that the learned men (we call our founders) of the that time, studied.
As for the Declaration itself, Jefferson was heavily influenced by the writings of John Locke, an English philosopher (see the 2nd Treatise of Government i.e. "long train of abuses..."), whose writings on the social contract, religious freedom and the secular nature of Government was instrumental in all the founders thinking.
The Constitution was a product of the failure of the Articles. Again, influenced by Locke, it was James Madison (admittedly a protege of Jefferson), who took up the mantle.