Affect of Locke and Hummes on Thomas Jefferson's Constitution

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The Great Awakening was a tremendous religious revival in colonial America during the mid 1700’s. An expansive point of view would simply show a period of time where, as Benjamin Franklin noted, “it seem’d as if all the World were growing Religious.” Formation of new churches, resurgence in church activity and mass conversions were the standard during the period. However, a look deeper into the repercussions of the Great Awakening introduces principles that later led to Britain’s authority being challenged by the colonies, and consequently the American Revolution. The individuals that were converted during the revivals damaged the habits of respect for authority and encouraged thinking for oneself instead of conforming to someone in higher power. These new inclinations of challenging authority became more and more prevalent as the century wore on and became increasingly popular as Britain started infringing on the political rights of the colonists. Some of America’s greatest leaders and minds of the time, like Thomas Jefferson, were also influenced by philosophers who redefined the relationship between the governed and the governor such as John Locke and David Hume. The Declaration of Independence borrows heavily from the ideas of Locke and Hume as well as several other philosophers, thus there are many similarities in the ‘subjects’ of the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution. The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence mentions the right of people to have political independence in accordance with the ‘Laws of Nature.’ Hume touched on this in The Original Contract by saying, “When we consider how nearly equal all men are in their bodily force, and even in their mental powers…nothing but their own consent could…subject them to any authority.” During this time period many philosophers believed that people naturally had rights
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