Compare And Contrast Edwards And Jeffersonians

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Following the European Enlightenment of the 17th Century, an intellectual movement arose in the New World inspired by the Newtonian and Lockean schools of thought. The 18th Century American Enlightenment absorbed Newton’s notions of law and order and combined them with Locke’s approach that law and order can be observed using the five human senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell. This movement would become the foundation of American political and social theory and would dominate the American school of thought until Darwinism in the 19th Century. Although different in numerous ways, two types of American intellectuals, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and The Jeffersonians, emerged during this period sharing one major assumption. Edwards and the Jeffersonians both based their theories and philosophies upon the same assumption of a natural order created by God which was bestowed upon humankind to be observed. Edwards was a Puritan minister who expanded on earlier Puritan discoveries on the importance of experience. Gaining experience through natural observation and figuring out how the world, and the human mind, works was essential to Edwards. …show more content…

Following Franklin’s death, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and his “Jeffersonian Circle” would “inherit the mantle of the American philosopher” (Boorstin, 8, 12). The men who comprised this Jeffersonian Circle consisted of Jefferson, David Rittenhouse (1732-1796), Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813, Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815), Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827), and Thomas Paine (1737-1809). These men all specialized in a wide variety of fields of study including medicine, science, politics, and theology. However, considering the eclectic focus of these individuals, all of them relied on a common assumption of natural order which could be

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