In 1852, Karl Marx said, "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves but under circumstances directly encountered and transmitted from the past."
He obviously knew about the Magna Carta (1215) and the English Parliament’s Bill of Rights (1689), which created a separation of powers between the King and elected representatives. What he didn’t pay much attention to was how the United States had improved upon these documents or he would have seen a country of entrepreneurs that had freedom and property rights along with a constitution so well thought out that it has only been amended 27 times in 234 years. No one puts it better than Ronald Reagan; the excerpt below comes directly from his Commencement Address at the University of Notre Dame back on May 17, 1981.
"This Nation was born when a band of men, the Founding Fathers, a group so unique we've never seen their like since rose to such selfless heights. Lawyers, tradesmen, merchants, farmers – 56 men achieved security and standing in life but valued freedom more. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Sixteen of them gave their lives. Most gave their fortunes. All preserved their sacred honor.”
“They gave us more than a nation. They brought to all mankind for the first time the concept that man was born free, that each of us has inalienable rights, ours by the grace of God, and that government was created by us for our convenience, having only the powers that we choose to give it. This is the heritage that you're about to claim as you come out to join the society made up of those who have preceded you by a few years, or some of us by a great many.”