Each scientist and philosopher provoked thought among the people, both then and now, and discovered things that we still use today. Philosopher Descartes states that to understand the Enlightenment, to think of it as forging philosophy and science and society within the common factor of nature (Enlightenment and Nuclear Order). Not only that, but Descartes was also very influential in the early stages of science, specifically physics, and built a strong foundation for it. Even Isaac Newton, one of the forefathers of physics, would not have existed without Descartes’ early work. Later, Leibniz, a foundational rational metaphysicist of the Enlightenment and influential thinker, stated that “everything that exists has a sufficient reason for its existence” (Enlightenment).
In France the advancement in scientific thought was limited by the Catholic hegemony over knowledge, while England on the other hand due to the laxing of policing mechanism provided the ideal space for progress in scientific thought. Religion which had played an important role in the advancement of science since the sixteenth century becomes ever more significant in the span of two decades from 1640 to 1660. The moderate Puritan reformers were now being challenged by a number of radical sectarian movements who saw in science the potential to bring about radical changes in the society. The moderate reformers who later established the Royal Society of Science in 1662, had to declare its goal of promoting an organized pursuit of experimental science in order to distance themselves from any attempt at radically reforming the church or the state. The threat of being deemed heretical loomed large over the puritan scientific reformers and they sought to divert it by coming up with the Christianized versions of upcoming scientific theories.
To quote Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, “Reason is natural revelation.” The reasoning and new ideas from Enlightenment philosophers was what shaped today’s society. The central idea of the Enlightenment philosophers of 17th and 18th century Europe was driven by Adam Smith’s thoughts on economy regarding economic decision making and the positive effects of the lack of government interference, the new political opinions and proposals regarding freedom and how it is obtained, expressed by John Locke, and the social and religious ideas regarding religious acceptance and having multiple religious influences in one place from Voltaire. The philosophers of the Enlightenment also were driven by the political theories expanding through Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. John Locke, an Enlightenment philosopher during the late 1600s proposed new theories about politics and government in his literature titled “Second Treatise on Civil Government”.
There were many philosophers in the 17th and 18th century that influenced and inspired the founders of our country. For instance, John Locke believed that life, liberty, and property should be our natural rights as humans and if the government could not secure these rights then the people could get rid of them. That idea impacted Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. This was the perfect time to develop different theories and contradictions because this was right around the time of the printing press and protestant reformation where people started to question the catholic church. Other philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau impacted founders like George Washington and James Madison who have positively affected this country in many different ways.
Boucher compelled people by using a metaphor to claim that man is like a star in that “one star differs from another star in glory” (#32, p. 103). The purpose of this metaphor was to express that superiority and inferiority will exist in a society; but, it was not horrible because it was a necessity to establish a successful government. His argument was striking because of his explanation on why having superiority and inferiority within a nation was not necessarily a bad idea. Jonathan Boucher’s argument lacked evidence which thus resulted to be less persuasive than it could have been. His main concern was only to address why people should declare independence and join the revolution.
Locke’s ideas of enlightenment were influential in the creation of the document. Like Locke’s phrase from Two Treatises on Government, “life, liberty, and property,” Jefferson, however, changed this phrase to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This phrase is slightly altered by Jefferson and exemplifies Locke’s belief in natural rights implying an individual’s own rights. Locke also believed that when a government were to become destructive, the people have the right to rebel and abolish it. A government that does not protect these rights becomes a tyranny and is determined to be overthrown.
The Enlightenment was critical in many aspects of the colonial America way of life, which commonly affected the politics, government and religion. Without these principles of understanding and the new way of thinking, the United States would have drastically been different since those ideas shaped the country in its infant years. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was overwhelmingly influenced by The Enlightenment both during and after the American Revolution. Many different concepts came from this new governmental structure such as, freedom of oppression and natural rights. These concepts were influenced by Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke and Isaac Newton where they helped set a clear path for colonial and present America to follow.
The Enlightenment is a period of time during the 17th and 18th century that brought forth many new, revolutionary ideas regarding social, political, and economic issues. Such ideas aided the founding fathers in their creation of a new government that would soon be the United States of America. Two of these founders, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, differed in their political reasoning. For example, while Jefferson believes that the people “can be trusted with their own government,” Hamilton argues that the people “seldom judge or determine right.” Hamilton favored a type of government that would put a select few (the rich) in charge of the people, while Jefferson favored a government that would put the people in total control.
Emboldened by the revolution in physics commenced by Newtonian kinematics, Enlightenment thinkers argued that reason could free humankind from superstition and religious authoritarianism that had brought suffering and death to millions in religious wars. Also, the wide availability of knowledge was made possible through the production of encyclopedias, serving the Enlightenment cause of educating the human race. The age of Enlightenment is considered to have ended with the French Revolution, which had a violent aspect that discredited it in the eyes of many. Also, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who referred to Sapere aude!
Colonies played a big role because they supplied the needs that British consumers would have to buy from foreign competitors. In what ways did colonial culture change in the eighteenth century? • Colonial best was worried about their small-town status, imported goods and cultured and refined manners to become more like Britain. Some of them educated settlers took great interest in Enlightenment ideas about science and human progress. At the same time, biblical religion got bigger on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean because of the revivals of the Great
Firstly, in the beginning the government was able to control everyone, but after the Enlightenment, people started to question things. Because of this, the Enlightenment encouraged people to challenge the authority, and think upon reasoning/logic. The word/phrase "common sense" was an Enlightenment idea, which inspired a man named Thomas Paine, during the Rev War. The Declaration of Independence was based on Enlightenment ideas, which were presented by John Locke. The Enlightenment supported ideals including: liberty, democracy, individualism, religious tolerance, and
The war created institutions of our government and also infused into our culture, what we believe today. Prior to the war, we were living in a monarchical society; we were merely just subject of the crown. We had only right granted to us be the king. The American Revolution was so important because it strengthened people’s way of
Throughout the examination of the philosophers, both Machiavelli and Hobbes have identified similar theories about political power, however have different views on how the sovereign should behave, methods on becoming and staying in power, as well as his duties when it comes to the people. I personally believe that Hobbes approach and motive behind his theories is more beneficial as the main purpose is to protect society while Machiavelli’s approach motivated by self-interest and creates a corrupt ruler. Machiavelli and Hobbes both support the idea of a sovereign however have very different views on how the sovereign should behave. The
The Federalists were more Britain oriented than the Democrat-Republicans, they wished for a strong, centered government with strong economic ties to Britain, whether as the Democrat-Republicans wished for a limited government and strong political ties to France. This separation between political parties would become a major factor of American politics, even after the fall of the Federalist party after the war of 1812, new political ideas kept on emerging and contending with each other. When the Constitution was eventually ratified, the Democrat-Republicans were still skeptical and called for a Bill of Rights that would protect the rights of the people. This strong accentuation of personal rights and individual thought would become a key aspect of the American identity. Although the separation of political parties did set a precedent for future American politics, it also ostracized Americans and reversed the feeling of national unity that emerged from the war.