Influence Of Enlightenment Ideas In The Declaration Of Independence

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The Influence of Enlightenment Ideas in The Declaration of Independence

The Enlightenment era, of all of the eras in America, perhaps has been the very first era where the people of America actually started to change their way of thinking. I mean let's face the truth, the Pilgrims and Puritans didn't have some revolutionary thought, their act and way of thinking were heavily determined based on the Bible they read (though they already defied the customary law simply by reading the Bible). Of course they also had some kind of idealism. We could see it by the Mayflower compact (in which the essence of the compact was the dream of the people in creating a nation with their own system, and still respected the Ruler of the Great Britain) [2] however in this time the actual identity of America itself hasn't settled. The identity of America started to form and took a shape in the Enlightenment era. In the time when the colony was determined to be separated from England (though as a matter of fact, in Howard Zinn's book this so called 'determination to
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The Declaration's famous quotation "We hold these truth to be self evident, that all men were created equal" gave a strong illustration of how the Americans yearn for liberty from the social order that was still strongly held in the colony. They wanted to belief that all men had the same chance to compete with one another and reach to success, they wanted to have the same chance to be a member of the parliament, and able to give their opinions freely. However back then in 18 Century America, the words "all men were created equal" only means the white males (the woman didn't even considered as a potential in the political circle) and on top of that the white males had to hold properties to be considered as suitable to be part of the parliament (the property-less people usually were the whites that didn't have enough property, and the
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