Jean-Jacques Rousseau Influence on the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of America. It contains “the words that made America,” (Fink, 9). Five of the founding fathers got together and penned this important document. As they penned this document, they were inspired by a number of European philosophers and writers. One of these philosophers was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. “Jean-Jacques Rousseau played a significant role in three different revolutions: in politics, his work inspired and shaped revolutionary sentiment in the American colonies and France; in philosophy, he proposed radically unsettling ideas about human nature, justice, and progress that disrupted the dominant Enlightenment thinking of the moment and helped to spark the Romantic movement; and in literature, he invented a major new genre: the modern autobiography,” (Puchner, 381). In this essay, I will discuss the depictions of the individual, human nature, and positive relationships that were inspired by Rousseau’s writing that can be found in the U. S. Declaration of Independence.
Jean-Jacque Rousseau was a prize winning essay writer who would later become an inspiration to many others. During a time of inspiration, he realized that “Human beings in a state of nature were compassionate and good; it was society itself that was to blame for creating inequality, greed, and aggression,” (382). Many of Rousseau’s published works espoused radical views that government should rest with the will of the people and equality for all human beings. Rousseau’s autobiography entitled Confessions, “help to revolutionize notions of what a life was and what it meant,” (385). Rousseau’s autobiography was an intimate look at the author’s emotional life. He bared his soul, talking about all aspects of his life, from the sexual pleasure that he received from getting a spanking to an emotional relationship he had with a teacher who was influential in his life.
It was through his writings that Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau Critique
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau Confessions
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau Accomplishments
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau on Slavery
  • The Life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau