It is understood that John Locke played a key role of influence on Thomas Jefferson. This influence can be seen through Jefferson’s writing on the nation’s founding document. This document is called the Declaration of Independence. John Locke, the English Enlightenment philosopher wrote his Two Treatises of Government to refute the belief that kings ruled by divine right and to support the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (Doc 1). This piece of political philosophy provided many explanations for the people’s rights and obligations to overthrow a corrupt government.
Many philosophers believed that the government had too much power over the people and they began to work to change that. For example, John Locke believed that people should have natural rights such as life, liberty, and property and that the government should not take away these rights and instead should protect them. If the government did not protect these rights the people could overthrow the government. This idea changed everything because in the end it influenced the English to use this idea in their Declaration of Independence to break away from Britain. Montesquieu was another philosopher who helped make the Enlightenment a turning point.
He writes, “society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the In Thomas Paine’s book, Common Sense, Paine is trying to argue for American independence from the British Empire. He starts with general reflections of the British parliament then turns to the specific situation the colonies have found themselves in. The first page of this Common Sense is attempting to open the colonists eyes to the suffering and pain the British parliament is causing, and trying to anger them into wanting their independence. Paine makes a point about distinguishing between government and society. former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections the latter negatively be retraining our vices.
Locke wants people to stand up for the rights that they deserved. Jefferson wanted to create a government contract for the people, which would allow for them to become an independent nation. Locke’s declaration creates revolts and made the American people start thinking about what they wanted for themselves. His declaration caused damage to the great nation until Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence which united the people. The social contract in John Locke’s declaration is the State of Nature.
The Magna Carta’s Influence “The Magna Carta was a document issued by the English noblemen who demanded rights from the king and limited the rights of the king’s power,” (A). The document had monumental effects that reverberate throughout the world today. The Magna Carta is an indispensable document to democracy because it has impacted many other substantial texts, protects citizen’s legal rights, and guarantees individual freedoms. The Magna Carta has influenced numerous documents that give rights to the people. The document changed the way acts and thinks by changing the political and social order of countries.
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! (Dare to know!)
The pursuit of self-gratification and preservation forms only a minute part of this concept. Promotion of personal liberties and control in the various aspects of an individual’s life and situation has been a major part of American history since its very dawn. Individualism first appeared in America in the early 17th century with the arrival of the Pilgrims, a people facing religious persecution in their home country of England. While they did indeed band together as a group under a common cause, their fight for the ideals of personal liberty was an individualistic one. This individualism thrived during the Revolutionary War as the Americans created their own democratic nation in response to a monarchy that would not allow them to govern themselves (Bellah 142).
During the Enlightenment, major philosophers like John Locke emerged and questioned the role or power of the government. Born after the English Civil War, John Locke discussed how people had natural rights like life, liberty, and property, which needed to be protected by the government. If this was not being done, he proclaimed that the people had the right to rebel. Other philosophers also convinced the French people about the corruption and misdeeds of the French monarchy. For example, Baron de Montesquieu frequently spoke that there should be a separation of power in
The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement created by many philosophers of the 18th century aimed to change their governments. These philosophers wished for more rights for the people and more representation in a constitutional government instead of the monarchy. Philosophers like Voltaire called for tolerance, reason as the primary source of authority, freedom of religious belief, and freedom of speech and expression. In addition he promoted the separation of religious and state, in order to mark a distance between any organized religion and the nation state. The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government.
It was expected that they paid taxes, worked and waged war for the crown - even though they could hardly afford to provide for themselves. But philosophers like Immanuel Kant had begun to question the whole idea of religion. For the first time, the question of the resurrection of human nature and rights was questioned - could it really fit the king's right to wealth when the general would starve? How was it fair? The whole dramatic situation motivated the general people to make their own national assembly.