American Enlightenment in the mid to late 18th century

Discuss the aspects and theories belonging/contributing to the mid to late 18th century American Enlightenment.  In your answer, you must address specific theorists and ideas, and how they aided in the creation of the revolutionary movement in America.

Intellectual, cultural and social essay: Does not include the events of the American Revolution. Stick to theorists. Talk about in detail:


things to include in the essay:

American Enlightenment


John locke, declaration of independence. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Natural rights. Influence on jefferson.

Baron de Montesquieu, balance of powers

James madison, checks and balances.

Isaac newton, and natural laws

Voltaire and freedom of speech

Thomas hobbes and his version of the social contract, the necessity of giving up some rights in return for control (by government)

Rousseau and his view of the natural soul and other things. Complicated innocence.

Diderot and a catalog of ideas and a synthesis of theories that eventually challenged the accepted norms and values of the ancient regime through his encyclopedia.


How did these ideas and theories contribute to the growth of the revolution in the colonies?

  1. declaration of indepence
  2. common sense
  3. letters of Dickenson
  4. letters of the Adams’
  5. writings of Franklin and his correspondents
  6. writings of jefferson (beyond declaration of independence)
  7. Coffeehouses & teaverns, which provide the social atmosphere necessary for the proliferation of these ideas. It takes at least 10-15 years for the ideas to percolate and come to fruition in the colonies. I.e. the formation of secret societies beginning in the late 1760s and early 1770s, like the sons of liberty, Sam Adams and Thomas Paine.


we are some of the first people to put these ideas of social and radical political reforms into ACTION, Into revolutionary action against the parent state.


put progress into action. and to see what is going to happen
3 minimum hand written single spaced pages.

Preview of the answer..

The varied and paradoxical nature of the “age of reason” commonly referred to as the enlightenment thought of the 18th century gives credence to the remarkable cerebral upheaval of the previous hundred years (Adorno, 1958). It is one among the pioneer movements in Europe and America to practice globalization through the propagation of the self-reliant, entrepreneurial, free cosmopolitan or world citizen as the primary aspiring ideal; the ideal that would bring about liberty and peace and create wealth for many in addition to helping them conquer religious quarrels…

1906 words APA


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