An Enlightenment: The Consequences Of The American Revolution

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“What do we mean by revolution?” Wrote John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in 1815. “The war? That was no part of the Revolution; only a consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and was effected, from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years before a drop of blood was spilled at Lexington.” In the words of John Adams, the American Revolution was more than a war, it was an intellectual movement that transformed the mindset of a nation. In the light of an Enlightenment era radical ideas were nothing new, however radical ideas against the British government (and the european lifestyle in general) were dangerous. The founders were directly influenced by the enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson even had paintings of Locke, Bacon, and Newton in his home. The Colonists of that day, especially the learned men were raised to believe that founding a government was one of the greatest things a person could do. Thomas Paine wrote “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” The American revolution started as an Enlightenment movement, guided by Enlightenment principles, and brought about by the Children of the Enlightenment.
The Revolution began as an infringement on the rights of English citizens, not American rights. Colonial Americans were British citizens who enjoyed all the same rights as those in mainland England, possibly more so. After the French and Indian War the British government found it untenable to ignore the Colonies any longer and began
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