Dbq: the Enlightenment

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, French Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 3 (1171 words) Published: July 10, 2013
Parmveer Ratth October 11, 2012

DBQ: The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment known by many as the Age of Reason was a turning point in history. Man people believe that without the Enlightenment, many of the laws, and rules would exist. For example the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were greatly influenced by the Enlightenment. For example, John Locke, an Enlightenment thinker highly influenced the Declaration of Independence by stating that the natural rights of people include life, liberty and property except the founding fathers changed it by stating life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American Revolution itself has been called the embodiment of Enlightenment ideas. If the founding fathers were not influenced by some of these ideas, maybe the United Sates would not be a democracy; it could have been an absolute monarchy, aristocracy, etc. Some of our human rights would not exist if it were for the Enlightenment. Philosophers such as Montesquieu, Rousseau, Locke, and others lead to many great changes. These ideas were used by some to challenge absolute monarchies. An absolute monarchy is a government ruled by one ruler. These ideas also impacted both government and society. Some of the ideas of the Enlightenment were used to challenge absolute monarchy. One example is given in Document # 1, Montesquieu who was a French philosopher during the Enlightenment, states, “There can be no liberty with the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are united in one person or body it a persons, because such concentration is bound to result in arbitrary despotism.” In this statement, Montesquieu is stating that liberty cannot exist where three powers of government are held by one person or body of persons. This is because then the people would not have rights for themselves. The idea was used to challenge an absolute...
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