The philosophical ideas during the Age of Enlightenment greatly impacted people's ideas about government even before the colonies were being formed. Montesquieu, one of the foremost political philosophers, explored the various forms of government and ways to prevent corruption within government. The ideas of the Enlightenment can also be found as colonists began to experiment with different types of democratic governments. They had to decide which legal model they would follow when establishing the original thirteen colonies: royal, charter, or proprietary. Once the United States was formed, the states had to decide what type of government would build a strong country. The initial federal government was established under the Articles of Confederation; however, the lack of a strong federal government led to events like Shay's Rebellion. Part of the Exploring Our Nation Series.