1) Evaluate the ways in which the different approaches to Enlightenment held by France, Britain, and America impacted their own societies. Thesis: The extreme and different approach of to Enlightenment of the French alienated it from the British and Americans, and also led to the destruction of the country. Both America and Britain had a moderate reform, while the French had an extreme upheaval that led to its ruin. All three Enlightenments were based on the same concepts of reason, liberty and justice. Britain built their Enlightenment on ‘social virtues’, not reason.
By challenging conformities created by society, celebrating trust in one's own mind, and designing a practical path to peace of mind through logic and reason, the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson most clearly define the ideals of Transcendentalism. Americans in the early nineteenth century gained a great sense of pride in disobedience with the achievement of exemption from British rule, and Emerson embodied the nation’s will to think critically about the structure of society. Foremost among his peers, he rejected
On the other hand, the nobility had many rights. Today it’s greatly known that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were well influenced from the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment thinkers argued against these traditions, and called for individual freedoms, governments of the people, and religious freedom. They were "enlightened" because they believed that humans could answer questions for them, and sought ways to put this philosophy into practice. John Locke, an Enlightenment thinker, highly influenced the Declaration of Independence.
The Enlightenment was a period of time when The Enlightenment was “During the 18th-century European movement in which thinkers attempted to apply principles of reason and scientific method to all aspects of society”. (Beck, Black, Kreieger 218) “Members of the Third Estate were inspired by the success of the American Revolution. They had began questioning long-lasting notions about the structure of society”. (Beck, Black, Kreieger 218) Another thing that is part of the Cultural causes is that they believe in Democracy. The reason they believed in Democracy is because Rousseau and Voltaire began to demand equality, liberty, and democracy.
He composed his pamphlet utilizing vernacular and simple ideas, targeting the common man. This was an unusual, yet appropriate, technique for the Enlightenment era. His pamphlet outlined the flaws and disadvantages of a monarchial government such as the government imposed on America by England. He also portrayed the advantages of severing all governmental ties with England. Paine discusses generic topics of an ideal and properly functioning government.
Enlightenment can be defined as “a philosophical movement in 18th century that fostered the belief that one could reform society by discovering rational laws that govern social behavior and were just as scientific as the laws of physics.” A British man by the name of John Locke in 1690 argued that governments were created to protect life, liberty, and property and that people had a right to rebel when a monarch violated those natural rights. This did not correspond with the traditional absolute monarch named by divine authority. In 1762 another writer named Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that legitimate monarchs depended on the consent of the people and that had to be respected. More of these enlightenment ideas spread through pamphlets, newspapers, books, and many public venues. The colonists living in the 13 colonies had to deal with British Parliament controlling their settlement without representation and many acts were passed along with the Writs of Assistance.
As a result, Jefferson, Montesquieu, Locke, and other members of the founding generation were deeply influenced by this 18th-century European intellectual movement. These philosophers were exposed to some of the leading thinkers of the Enlightenment who believed rational thought and useful knowledge guaranteed an optimistic outlook of hope and promise of a better future. Not only that, but the many culminating revolutions that revolved - the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, etc. - as well as a great environmental awareness were many factors as a result of the Enlightenment. Jefferson drew upon his education in law and Enlightenment philosophy in order to compose the Declaration of Independence, a treatise that focused on liberty and slavery.
Our founding fathers were inspired by influential people to write the great documents for America. For instance, Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, was inspired by ideas of philosophers in the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment ideas from political philosophers were used by other founding fathers as a means to motivate others for the Revolution. After the Revolution, James Madison also used ideas of Enlightenment philosophers to construct the United States Constitution. Philosophers, like Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau, all had a great influence in the making of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Paine’s Common Sense verbalized change was not just a matter of geography but a philosophy that must be embraced by the masses against the oppressive ruling of England. It was appealing because Paine wrote a straight forward diatribe that was neither condescending nor extremely radical. It included all classes of people. Paine used logic and quoted the bible in ways that were relevant to his cause. His arguments were rational.
The conflicts over trade, taxes, and government representation brought about the revolution that began shaping the United States as it is today. Although there were many economic influences on the American Revolution, these were not the primary causes of it. The colonists believed that the king of England, King George III at the time, was too controlling over the colonies, with tyrannical attitude and laws. This is shown in the Declaration of Independence, declaring the United States free from "absolute Tyranny over the States." To add to this conflict, British forces were attempting to intimidate the colonists into just plainly giving up.