American Enlightenment In The 1600's

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The Enlightenment can be summarized as the movement to bring the human capacity to reason to light as a very important aspect in social as well as economic life. During the 1700's, many people were still in the mid-evil mindset, which encompassed the ruling of both spiritual and secular rulers, the belief that humans did not possess the ability for social change, and that the time on earth was simply a waiting period for either heaven or hell (Schultz, 2013). However, with the expansion of social life and interaction, many people were starting to question this mindset.

Through the ideas of many who were educated, people begin to question these very beliefs. During the 1600's, a Euro Scientist named Copernicus believed that natural laws governed both society and the universe (Schultz, 2013). Many other educated thinkers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Adam Smith were also influential in this movement. Rousseau believed that individuals had the right to life, liberty, and property, while Smith stated that a balanced economy was due to the laws of supply and demand. These great minds, as well as others, would be
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The American Enlightenment differed from its European counterpart in that there were few atheists or agnostics that emerged from this movement. The American movement was responsible for starting a process that would help to balance religion and science. There were many great religious minds that were influential in this process as well. A theologian by the name of Cotton Mather wrote many crucial sermons that helped to refine theology. Historians such as William Bradford, John Winthrop, and Edward Johnson were responsible for helping to bridge ideals of religion and enlightenment. This was accomplished in part by praising the actions of the colonial founders’ individual fortitude, but also acknowledging their sacrifices to
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