The Enlightenment's Influence on Today's Government

Topics: Political philosophy, Age of Enlightenment, Liberalism Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: April 21, 2014
Enlightenment’s Influence on Today’s Government
The Enlightenment era is considered one of the most important “turning points” in history. During this time, many enlightenment thinkers brought forth new ideas that still influence the modern world today. Political systems of various countries all over the world adopted the numerous concepts that were presented at this time period. Some of the providers of these concepts were Machiavelli, John Locke, and Montesquieu. They wrote many things expressing their beliefs, which started the basis of many governments later on. Therefore, the Enlightenment had a great impact on the United State politics and government, which lasted until this day. One of the person lived during the Enlightenment era was Machiavelli. He expressed what he believed in “The Prince” (Document 1). He believed that “The Price,” or the ruler, must control with fear and the military. The ruler must do anything necessary to control their people. This concept leads to modern day dictatorships. For example, South Korea is one of the countries that is currently under the rule of a dictator. In the same way, Machiavelli said, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-Un ruled and still rule their people by the dread of punishment and under the power of the military because all men are “Ungrateful, fickle, and deceitful” (Document 5). In conclusion, Machiavelli gave the idea of dictatorships, which influenced some governments in the world today. Secondly, John Locke discussed about how the government was created by the people to protect the people’s rights. His main focus was the protection of the people’s natural rights, which later became what the United States of America based their Declaration of Independence on. For instance, in his writing “Two Treatises on Government”, he said that everyone has their own natural rights; life, liberty, and property (Document 5). Locke’s concept was different from the actual form of government, a monarchy, which is rule by a king or...
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