Dbq Essay On The Enlightenment

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The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. By the early 1700s, European thinkers believed that nothing was beyond the reach of the human mind. The Scientific Revolution of the 1500s and the 1600s had transformed the way people in Europe looked at the world. The Scientific Revolution caused reformers to begin studying human behaviors and try to solve the problems of society. This new surge of learning led to another revolution in thinking known as the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers such as Jean- Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, and the Baron de Montesquieu insisted that Heaven could be reached on Earth by solving every social, …show more content…

Locke believed that people were born with natural rights that included the right to life, liberty, and property. Locke argued that people formed governments to protect their natural rights, so the best kind of government was one with limited power and was accepted by all citizens. Locke said that a government has an obligation to the people it governs, therefore, the people have a right to revolt if the government fails at its obligations. Like many other Enlightenment philosophers, John Locke’s ideas reflected on the checks and balance system as well as the Declaration of Independence. For example, in the Declaration of Independence, it says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Life and liberty are two of the three natural rights that Locke believed people had, and he stressed the fact that the government had to obligation to uphold them. This is important because the Declaration of Independence is the basis of the United States …show more content…

government is the Baron de Montesquieu. Montesquieu studied the governments of Europe, from Italy to England, read about ancient and medieval Europe, and learned about Chinese and Native American cultures. Through all his findings, he believed that the separation of powers was the best way to protect liberty, even though he came to this conclusion by misunderstanding the British government. The check and balance system is still used today in the U.S. government. The federal government is divided into three branches to ensure that no individual group gains too much control. The legislative branch includes Congress and enacts legislation, confirms or rejects presidential appointments, and has the authority to declare war. The executive branch includes the president and carries out and enforces laws. The judicial branch interprets the meaning of laws, applies laws to individual cases, and decides if laws violate the Constitution. The legislative, executive, and judicial branch can each change acts of the other. For example, the president can veto laws passed by Congress, and Congress confirms or rejects the president's appointments and can remove the president from office in certain

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