Born in England in 1586, Thomas Hooker was raised in an ultra-conservative period in English history. After receiving degrees at Cambridge University, Thomas Hooker became a preacher whose sermons clashed with the established Church of England. He was eventually forced to leave England. He lived in Massachusetts and later founded the colony of Connecticut where he established a highly successful church in what is now Hartford, Connecticut. He aided in the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639. Believing in the principle of equality for all mankind, Hooker is sometimes called “the father of American democracy.” Hooker advanced a more democratic view, favoring the vote for all men, regardless of any religious or property qualifications.

William Blackstone was an English Jurist, the first Vinerian professor of law at Oxford, and Solicitor General to the Queen. Before Blackstone joined the faculty, English universities had focused exclusively on the study of Roman law. Blackstone authored Commentaries on the Laws of England widely regarded as the most complete and readable commentary on English law. The Supreme Court often references Blackstone’s writing as a source for determining the intent of the Founders when interpreting the Constitution.