The Enlightenment Essay

803 WordsOct 29, 20114 Pages
Flora Chen 26th Sep 2011/Monday History Essay The American Revolution was caused by the following main reasons. Firstly, colonists were not willing to pay the taxes set by the British since they did not have any political representations. Secondly, the lower class citizens no longer could not withstand the manipulation of the upper class men, especially the loyalists. Thirdly, financially stable colonists did not want to be under the control of the British and wanted the power by themselves. People, who participated in the American Revolution, wanted to overthrow the British due to those main reasons and the ideas of the Enlightenment help led the way. The Enlightenment was a period, during the mid-seventeenth century, where all great thinkers, such as John Locke; Montesquieu, brought about new ideas that propose solutions for social, political, and economical questions. The main connection between the Enlightenment and the American Revolution was through Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine was one of the great philosophers from the Age of Reason and is most well-known for his pamphlet, during the early 1777, The Common Sense, where it states his renounce for the British Empire ruling the “New England”. His pamphlet was the main and direct influence on the Continental Congress’s decision to issue the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine’s writing was so influential John Adams stated (in The Sharpened Quill, The New Yorker) that "Without the pen of the author of 'Common Sense,' the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence borrowed many of the ideas from the British philosophes during the Age of Reason. John Locke died in 1704, while the Declaration of Independence was first drafted in 1776. One of the main ideas borrowed is John Locke’s true words “Life, Liberty and Property”, while Thomas Jefferson

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