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In this article, Thomas Pangle explores the distinctly modern principles that predominate in the Bill of Rights, and contrasts these with principles of classical and Christian republicanism. The theory of natural rights, represented here by Montesquieu, John Locke, and William Blackstone, forms the foundation for these modern principles. Egalitarian, autonomous, individual “natural rights” are primary, and, from these, reason deduces practical “natural laws.” Societies are created when men form a contract and agree to follow these rules in order to maximize collective and individual self-interest. Pangle contrasts this theory of rights with the tradition of classical and Christian republicanism, which upholds the idea of a political life dedicated to communal spiritual fulfillment according to the dictates of natural law, or natural righteousness. Rather than emphasizing individual natural rights, Thomas Aquinas and others in the classical tradition understand natural law as an innate and elevated standard of right and wrong that exists prior to all practical considerations. In this view, the chief aim of human law is to implement the natural law and cultivate virtue. According to Pangle, the bills of rights proposed as amendments, State Declarations of Rights, and the writings of the Anti-Federalists contain only echoes of the classical and Christian tradition, and our Bill of Rights is solidly rooted in the American founders’ modernist understanding of individual rights and limited government.