The Enlightenment was a period of intellectual and philosophical movement that challenged the traditional ideas of the world. It included a range of ideas centered around reasoning as the primary source of authority and legitimacy. As a result, it changed the mindset of many individuals concerning those things. In particular, it was a major influence to the establishment of the U.S. government. Thomas Jefferson and the other framers of the U.S. Constitution believed in Enlightenment principles, so they used those key ideas to help mold their newly found country. They focused on a democratic republic that protects freedom of speech, equality, religious tolerance, and so forth. However, these ideas did not stop being an influence after the creation …show more content…
Essentially, he argued that people are equal and have natural rights separately from outside rule. Natural law governs behavior, so each person has the ability to execute that law if someone infringes on those rights. The exception is if those individuals willingly give up some of those rights to be in a government that will protect their remaining rights (Locke, 88-93). Before the American Revolution, King George III treated the American colonists not as British citizens but as subjects. He ruled with a tyrannical attitude and committed many abuses against their rights. As a response, the Declaration of Independence was made, and it included the well-known phrase, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 106). The phrase give three examples of unalienable rights that every human being is born with. It uses what Locke preached about and declares that the government is primarily created to protect these rights unlike what King George III has done. And if said government doesn’t do so, the people are allowed to rebel and overthrow that government as stated here, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government” (Declaration of Independence, 106). This did happen as seen in the American Revolution. Overall, the Declaration of …show more content…
government show Enlightenment influences other than the ones previously mentioned. For instance, the Bill of Rights guarantee certain freedoms and protections. These include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms, the right to equal justice, and rights which are not specifically mentioned. The Enlightenment especially the American version focused on the individuals, not just the king. Thus, it is reasonable to see freedoms and protections being passed by a democratic republic to protect those individuals’ rights. As time passes on, more freedoms and protections are enacted to extend that promise of American democracy like the Civil War Amendments. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude. The Fourteenth Amendment redefined citizenship and eliminated the ⅗ compromise. The Fifteenth Amendment says that none can deny the right to vote due to race, color, or being a former slave (Western Expansion and the Nevada Constitution, October, 10). The Civil War Amendments’ initial goal was to reunite the north and the south, so ending slavery was just a secondary goal. Nevertheless, they greatly helped former slaves since they are now free individuals, being legitimate U.S. citizens, and have the ability to vote without difficulty. Unfortunately, the 14th Amendment pertain very peculiar writing; it excluded females from voting. This is why the Nineteenth
Locke stated that people were born with natural rights, the right to life, liberty, and property. One of the most famous quotes from the Declaration of Independence states those rights as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson, the writer of that quote got his idea from John Locke. Another grand idea modified from one of Locke’s, was the people’s power to overthrow the government- in a legal way of course. John Locke, according to ushistory.org, stated that citizens could overthrow their government if it failed to protect their three natural rights.
The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments had been ratified to ensure equality to any and all former slaves. The first step to equality was the 13th amendment which had abolished slavery in all states and any other territory of the United States but Black Codes had been designed to keep former slaves from being free of subservient labor. The 14th amendment provided what is known as the Civil Rights to all persons born in the United States and the 15th amendment had given voting rights to all male african americans thus allowing african americans to organize politically and eventually hold major offices in government. However, groups like the Ku Klux Klan had been organized to intimidate african americans from voting or being involved politically.
The questions at hand were complex, and involved citizenship and government aid, and had to take the public’s varied opinions into account, as well as the political makeup of Congress. The 13th Amendment freed the slaves, but gave the slaves nothing except their freedom. The 14th amendment defined citizenship, then not only made discriminatory legislation (such as black codes) illegal, but provided consequences for states that did not comply. The Reconstruction Acts, although too broad and expensive to be applied in their entirety, required that the former Confederate States ratify the 13th and 14th amendments, as well as submit redrafted state Constitutions in order to be readmitted to the Union. The 15th Amendment made it possible for people to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”, making it a radical, although certainly not selfless, act that granted African-Americans political power
After the Civil War, the entire United States, especially the southern states that had supported the Confederacy, were in poor condition. The country needed to rebuild itself and therefore entered a period of Reconstruction. One of the primary aspects of the Reconstruction Era was extending rights to the millions of slaves emancipated by the thirteenth amendment that were in desperate need of help. To accomplish these intentions, Congress proposed the fourteenth and fifteenth constitutional amendments aimed at giving former slaves more rights and a fair chance at being successful. These amendments were then ratified by the states, officially putting them into effect.
Throughout the annals of history, the advocation for a democratic government has been at the forefront of many prosperous, well known societies. From Ancient Greece, to countries that have based their prosperity on democracy, like the United States for instance, popular sovereignty has been the contributing factor that integrates the common man into the government in which they are encapsulated. In the context of the American Independence movement, the need for American people to rule by their own terms meant the difference between being the slaves of a tyrannical leader, or the people belonging to a free society. The recalcitrant Americans fought against the unruly British in order to gain this independence. The document that initially gave
Many laws citizens of America abide by today trace back to the philosophical ideas of Enlightenment thinkers from the 17th century. During this time period, the scientific revolution and absolutism sparked a movement in which new ideas and thoughts promoted challenging the government. People believed that if they could understand human nature, they could form the ideal government to rule over the people. Many different thinkers presented their own thoughts and beliefs on the people and their natural rights, along with how the people should be ruled. Of the many Enlightenment thinkers whose philosophies are found the Constitution, John Locke and Voltaire made the greatest impact due to their contributions in protecting the people’s liberties,
Once Johnson was no longer in charge congress put into place the Civil Rights Act, an act that declared everyone who was born in the United states to be granted a citizen no matter their race or previous conditions. This meant all former slaves could become true legal citizens. Similarly, the 14th amendment made it so that each state was to give equal protection of the laws to everyone because it too declared all citizens were equal. This amendment also would not allow for confederate political leaders to hold positions and it would not forgive any debts of the confederacy. Following the civil rights act and the 14th amendment the 15th amendment and then another civil rights act were also put into effect.
John Locke was a philosopher and political scientist. He had many interests and produced a number of writings that influenced future leaders. One of these leaders was Thomas Jefferson, who was involved with the aid of America and the act gaining independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence and Locke’s views on government contain many similar aspects. These ideas includes the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (natural rights); the protection that is provided by the government for these rights; and the altering or abolishment of government if it fails to provide and protect the rights of the people.
John Locke was a key figure in the Enlightenment (which was at its peak at the time of the revolution), who stated that the government’s duty was to secure the rights of the people with the consent of the governed. If the government fails to do its duty, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to create a new one. Essentially, this was what the American Declaration of Independence revolved around; it calls out King George III on his acts that violates their values of equality and their unalienable rights and declares the independence of the thirteen
The thirteenth and fourteenth amendments were pivotal points in the abolishment of slavery. The ratification of these two amendments caused many social, economic, and political changes in American society. The thirteenth amendment freed the slaves and the fourteenth granted them citizenship. Both of these amendments were ratified in the wake of the Civil War. They were greatly contested, especially by the states of the recently defeated Confederacy.
Finally, with the ratification the fifteenth amendment in 1870s, it secured the vote for the African Americans, and it forbid states from denying any citizens from the right to vote based on race, color, or “previous condition of servitude.” These three amendments were significant changes during the Reconstruction period because all people, not just white, can fully enjoy being an American citizen without worrying over their race or
Those revolutions were the American Revolution and the French Revolution. John Locke believed in 3 natural rights, which were life, liberty, and property. Those revolutions have shaped the world and made it into a better place. Locke and many other philosophers helped make that happen. Those natural rights that Locke believed in led to the creation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Rights and Man.
The Age of Enlightenment; a time of reasoning and decisions that forms the balance between people and government seen today. From the 1600s to the late 1700s, philosophers began to ponder as to why government was such a structural piece in civilizations. Some believed that it was a necessity; to keep order, peace, and safety but this could only occur if freedoms were taken in exchange, thus becoming known as social contract. Yet others claimed that government was only there to protect the rights of the people, that it should not hold much sway in the life of citizens.
Locke had stated that when an executive act for his own benefit, and not to serve the ends of the people. He “degrades himself” and becomes “but a single private person without power,” at which point he no longer has any right to rule over the people. Locke expresses the idea of rebellion against an unjust government. By giving the idea of rebellion, he also reveals that a human’s rights have changed over the years and that a man now has inherent rights. It was because of his declaration that the statement, “give me liberty or give me death,” become popular among the American people.