How Did The Age Of Reason Affect The Philosophes

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In Europe, fields such as science, communication, philosophy, and politics flourished during 1680 and 1810, in a period referred to the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. The increase of progressive ideas cultivated new forms of government and natural rights for citizens. As the ideas spread throughout Europe, the newly formed American colonies began to share these ideas. The Age of Reason greatly impacted the ideas of the American Revolution and the forefathers of the American government. The critical thinkers during the Enlightenment were philosophes, and these philosophes focused on two ideas, progress and reason. The concept of progress was the belief that society and humanity could be improved. Reason was the ability of individuals to think for themselves. Many nobles considered these ideas to be radical, but the philosophes viewed progress and reason the key to a liberating and prosperous society. In religion, many …show more content…

Locke defined these rights as: life, liberty, and property, similar phrasing appears in America’s Declaration of Independence. Locke also advocated that governments were created for civil order and the protection of property. Similar to Locke, a philosopher named Voltaire argued against censorship and advocated for human rights. In Voltaire’s Candide, he spoke against religious oppression and senseless war. Voltaire’s ideas influenced the creation of the Bill of Rights in the American constitution. Montesquieu was another philosopher that greatly impacted the government of the United States. He argued that government should be separated into three branches: the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. Montesquieu also advocated for a system of checks and balances to ensure that one branch does not become too powerful. These three influential philosophers introduced new forms of governments and ideals that revolutionized the

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