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Essay on Influence of the Enlightenment on American History

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It was during and after the American Revolution that many of the main ideas of the Enlightenment were used as the guidelines to help influence things such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The United States was founded on key figures such as Thomas Jefferson, who was greatly influenced by the Enlightenment ideas, which helped shaped the country as well. Great Britian had its own Enlightenment before America, whih was developed by thinkers like John Locke, and many others. In the 17th century, they rid of the king. Although the monarchy had soon been restored, and that created open minds toward change in many places. English Protestants struggled to express themselves in ways that had widened the of freedom of speech and press. The English and French Enlightenments exchanged influences through many happenings.
“The Philosophes, the early Enlightenment thinkers in France such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot, set down some early principles of the movement: the only justification for the state is the promotion of the good life for its citizens; men should be rational, should be allowed to direct their lives by knowledge, reason and experience; the ability to use reason makes men equal; and with the use of reason, progress is sure to come (Artz 33).” Many of the most notable leaders of the American revolution were extremely influenced by English and to an extent, the French Enlightenment thought. Jefferson and Franklin both spent time in France, which was an ally because it was an enemy of England, and absorbed the influence of the French Enlightenment there. The language of natural law, inherent freedoms, and self-determination which inspired them so much that the American formation was the product...


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...ed the freedom to created branches of religion. The colonies were still very religious but they used the freedom given from the enlightenment ideas for their freedom to choose. Instead of following one religion, there were many choices in the colonies and people chose how to establish and maintain their connection to God.
Without the Enlightenment principles used as the basis of this country, it would be much different that it is today. These important values are still active today through freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and many other natural rights. Jefferson, Madison, Locke, Newton, and other Enlightenment philosophers put their ideas forward that went on to be key contributors in the most important documents in America such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.






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