American Enlightenment Influence Essay

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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…show more content…
Because the meaning of “the pursuit of happiness” in America at that time was still deeply connected to the “pursuit of property”. And talking about property, back in those time the Americans politics and social orders were still heavily determined by the property-owning. I was wondering why did Jefferson erased the word “property” when almost every aspects in America was determined by it. C. Six Ideas of American Enlightenment and Its Influence Based on, there are at least six ideas came to punctuate American Enlightenment thinking: deism, liberalism, republicanism, conservatism, toleration and scientific progress. And using these six ideas, we could see how these ideas were represented in the Declaration of Independence. 1. Deism and Scientific Progress In the introduction I already gave a brief overview of the religions as viewed in the Enlightenment. This quotation is only to add the definitions of the deism itself, "European Enlightenment thinkers conceived tradition, custom and prejudice as barriers to gaining true knowledge of the universal laws of nature. The solution was deism or understanding God’s existence as divorced from holy books, divine providence, revealed religion, prophecy and miracles; instead basing religious belief on reason and observation of the natural world."
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