When trying to define a word such as Liberalism it seems difficult to find a solid definition. There are different forms of liberalism and different meanings depending on the time period it is being applied to (idea taken from Phil Badger author from philosophynow). To solve this ambiguity, I’ve decided to define liberalism based on the time period in which I will be conducting my research. Liberalism in the 1700s was the belief of freedom and equals rights generally associated with the enlightenment thinkers, John Locke and Montesquieu (as defined by wikipedia.org).
The American Revolution is an integral event in modern history. It set the wheels in motion for practically every political and social order we take for granted today. The American Revolution was fundamentally a radical movement because of its democratic ideals, its separation of church and state, and its unifying of the rich and poor through the ideals of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
A revolution is the bringing of a new start. Like many other revolutions throughout the years, the American Revolution is the perfect example of this. The effects of a revolution not only on the people but on society as well, can be detrimental. Many of these effects included closing the Boston harbor, passing the Intolerable Act, British government refused to address American complaints, and the colonists felt the British government was increasingly corrupt and autocratic empire in which their traditional liberties were threatened.
Enlightenment was a concept that inspired a new way of thinking of the people. In the newly formed United States of America, enlightenment shaped the way the new government was run. Scientific reasoning was applied to politics, religion, and science. Enlightenment saved music, art, and literature programs in colleges. Enlightenment in Europe led to drastically altered views on philosophy, politics, and communications. While enlightenment was the same revolution in thinking around the world, the ideas it brought were not always the same. For example, French enlightenment had different approaches to thinking than American enlightenment. Because of this, the two countries new governments were run on different ideologies.
The quote "The US Declaration of Independence is a liberal document while the American Constitution is a conservative document." The quote means that The Declaration of Independence is a document that embraces people meaning its written for people whereas the American Constitution embraces the idea of a set of rules.
There was tension, blood, and tears with the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain. This was due to the American Revolution that started in 1765 and ended in 1783. So how revolutionary was the American revolutionary war? Well, first what does revolutionary mean? Revolutionary means that things have changed dramatically. In that case, the American Revolution was very revolutionary because there were political, social, and economic changes. Wealthy people lost their money, there was a new government, it made citizens question slavery, and certainly more freedom for the Americans.
When you think of America you often think of independence and individual freedom, but what made early American want this freedom? The British restriction of trade and control of state governments merely angered Americans, but with proposals like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense it stirred our spirit into more than rebellious one. These things lead to American Revolution, and this revolution lead to the Treaty of Paris, the U.S Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. All these outcomes of the Revolution are incredibly important to American History and to what we are now as Americans.
Impact of American Revolution through time Almost all aspects of the lives of Americans were somehow affected by the spirit of the American Revolution. The attitudes of American people towards religious life, women’s rights, voting and slavery were changed forever because of it. There was a drastic change in social and political life after independence. There were significant changes in the hierarchy within the states. The American society became more egalitarian and less deferential, more meritocratic and less aristocratic.
The ideas of the Enlightenment influenced the American Revolution and the formation of the American Government. Firstly, The Enlightenment was a philosophical evolution that emphasized the aged ideas of the Greeks and Romans. In addition, the major philosophers of this time period were Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Rousseau, Adam Smith and Isaac Newton. Their ideals include having an absolute monarch as a government (T.H), the separation of powers (Mont.), the government should not interfere with a free market economy (A.S), the freedom of speech (Volt.), the government could be overruled (J.L), and the government should rule according to the will of the people. Nevertheless, these ideals are important because they shaped the government that we have today.
The ideas of Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and Montesquieu helped create the basis for the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, and the creation of the government of the United States of America. John Locke’s philosophy of natural rights, like life, liberty, and property belonging to everyone, and Montesquieu’s philosophy of separation of powers, both influenced the rise of a state with no king when they declared their independence from the British in 1776, which was revolutionary and a radical idea since most countries were ruled by some kind of a monarchy during the early modern era. These philosophies were supported by human reason, unlike previous eras where ideals had been supported by religion, which is why they were thought to be so innovative and impressive. The American Revolution, fueled by Enlightenment ideals, later became an incentive for the French Revolution among other revolutionary movements challenging oppressive, widely accepted beliefs of
The American Revolution affected the entire world in a very fundamental way not just in its own time but continues to affect the present time as well. Some of the major fundamental values that have emerged in the modern times as a consequence of the American Revolution were the rule of law and liberty. Apart from these two philosophical ideas, another major idea that emerged was that even colonialism by Britain, the most powerful nation at the time, could be defeated as longs the oppressed people stand together for their rights and resist
In conclusion, the Enlightenment was vital to the American Revolution and the creation of American Government. The Enlightenment beliefs that influenced the American Revolution were natural rights, the social contract, and the right to overthrow the government if the social contract was violated. The Enlightenment beliefs that aided to the creation of the American government were separation of powers, checks and balances, and limited government. As stated before, without the Enlightenment there would not have been a revolution, resulting in no American Government. The Enlightenment’s influence on the creation of America is irrefutable. Although there are more beliefs and ideas that came from the Enlightenment that have influenced America, the
The American Revolution ignited democratic rule in nations and spread through the whole world. The American Revolution was definitely different from other revolutions in many ways. It was radical in that the causes of it were for new ideas like their ideas on equality, that all men are created equal, and are given the right to live and pursuit of happiness. Although the American Revolution was radical than any other revolution that had occurred previously. it was more conservative than it was radical. The early Americans implemented the belief that all men were created equal, yet ironically they continued their practice of slavery and still discriminated against women.
The Enlightenment placed great emphasis on the individualism and secularism. For example, John Locke introduced ideas of natural rights. These natural rights were to be protected by the government, and if they were not, the people had the right to overthrow the government. For the first time, colonists were given the opportunity to have power and a say in government. Power came from the individual rather than a religious authority like it previously was before.