The American Covenant
America was founded by pioneers who were strongly influenced by the Covenant Reformed faith. The Pilgrims and the Puritans were instrumental is establishing state governments that were based on a Presbyterian form of church government. John Calvin believed that the Bible revealed men were fallen sinners that by nature were selfish and could easily abuse political power against their neighbors. Their churches were established so that there were checks and balances on the leadership through a republic form of church governance. Their church leaders were in a covenant with both God and their church members. In this way, the pastor would less likely become a tyrant since he was accountable to them and to God with regard to how he treated them.
This view of a republic form of government was later applied to their state governments. Eventually similar principles were used in the establishment of our constitutional form of governance.