How Did The Enlightenment Influence America

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Ideas of the Enlightenment that influenced America The ideas of the Enlightenment influenced the American Revolution and the formation of the American Government because our government is based off the ideas of the first political thinkers, like Thomas Hobbs, John Locke, Voltaire, Baron de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Cesare Beccaria. All of these philosophers believed in different ideas, and somehow the American government was able to figure out a way to make all of these ideas work in one government. These men formed the idea of our government, natural rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, the social contract, freedom of speech and religion, individual freedom, and the justice system. These are all things that …show more content…
Hobbs believed that humans are naturally cruel, selfish, and hungry for power; Hobbs argued that people need to be protected from themselves. Hobbs believed in an idea called the social contract. The next philosopher is John Locke he believed that all people we born with natural rights, including life, liberty, and property; Locke argued that kings could be overthrown if he takes away their rights. Baron de Montesquieu agreed with Locke and their for we got the separation of powers, which is dividing power among three branches of government. Voltaire, was one of the most famous writers of the Enlightenment, he argued for the rights of freedom of speech and religion. Voltaire once said “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.” He criticized intolerance, prejudice, and oppression. Another philosopher was Rousseau, he believed that people are naturally good, but power corrupts them; free people formed a social contract and government based on the common good, he supported a direct democracy. The last philosopher that I will include is Cesare Beccaria, he argued that people accused of crimes, punishment and torture should be abolished. Beccaria was upset with the use of torture, corrupt judges, secret trial, and secure punishments for crimes. He criticized abuses in the justice system.These men and their ideas influenced our government, for example their ideas were used in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the

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