Enlightenment Thinkers: The Frenchman, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

929 Words4 Pages
Enlightenment Thinkers The scientific revolution caused a breakthrough for the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, giving great examples of social and political methods as a form of stepping stones for new theories and ideas. A selected few Enlightenment thinkers pressed on their suggestions of natural rights and human powers strongly. These thinkers created new viewpoints for everyone to see reason and understand that every person is of equal importance. John Locke stated that the people and the government have an imaginary form of contract; stating that if the government is not fulfilling their part, then the people can overthrow the government and create a new one. The Frenchman, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, opinioned that in order for…show more content…
Locke’s text describes how every man has the same rights to one another. If one man can have control over something or someone else, then, by the law of nature, every other man should have the same rights of power. According to Locke, men should not feel powerless under the legislative law. In understanding this, a man, whether under law or not, should not feel like they are under someone else’s will. One of the most important topics Locke wanted to encourage, was that people have control over the government, setting limited power for a temporary time, and in having this, the people can demolish the form of government if the government does not comply to the people’s needs “the people have a right to act as supreme, and continue the legislative in themselves” (Locke). He believed that using reasons to explain what is true will ensure the purpose of…show more content…
Thomas Jefferson actually had based the Declaration of Independence, which is still used and referenced today, off of John Locke’s and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theories and beliefs “that all men are created equal…that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson). Montesquieu, author of The Spirit of the Laws, had suggested the separation of powers. The separation of powers was a form of way to control power within the government, such as; having three branches of government in the United States has helped in keeping the power very limited. Then, there was Voltaire, which has been easily said to be the most popular Enlightenment thinker, who had stated that the government cannot take away nor limit a person’s freedom of religion and speech. In the formation of the United States, this was very pressed upon, because it carried the sole-purpose of what the United States wanted to be or pictured themselves becoming. There are countless inspirational thinkers that impacted the United States for who it has
Open Document