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Enlightenment was crucial in influencing every phase of the colonial America, most particular changes occurred in religion, government and politics. Without the concept of Enlightenment, United States would have been hugely different from what it is today. Enlightenment concepts shaped the nation in its decisive years. Both through and after the American Revolution many of the vital elements of Enlightenment were the foundation for epic tracts such as declaration of independence and gaining of a new constitution in United States of America. Concepts such as human rights, freedom from suppression and novel ways of reasoning about government organization came into light from the Enlightenment theorist such as Armstrong who formed basis for both colonial and modern America. All components of region and life were mostly influenced the concept of Enlightenment, and key people in American history such as Thomas Jefferson were deeply influenced by Enlightenment movement.
Enlightenment and The American Revolution
The American Revolution and other proceedings that followed were as result of the concepts and ideas of Enlightenment. The American Revolution resulted due to high charging of taxes by British government to the colonists as they need additional money to help them recover from the wars they were involved in. At a certain point, the colonists were paying more taxes hence incurring huge losses in their home projects. But through applying the Enlightenment reasoning and ideas, they colonists affirmed these taxes were unfair and the firmly stood against any further oppression from the Britain. The Americans had wished to have their own governing government that was mainly based on the principles and concepts of Enlightenment; this finally resulted to the revolution in America.
Another great influence of Enlightenment that helped to shape the colonies was in terms of religion. With great beginning it came a new understanding of America’s early relationship between church and their God. In its place of one major powerful church that required membership, Christian principles and freedom based on Enlightenment give people rights to choose membership to which church to praise rather than being forced into one. At the time of Enlightenment there was a secular focus, but this was unlike in America. The American colonies were very religious as they stood still with the Enlightenment ideas and principles. Instead of being coupled to one religion, there were many options to make in the American colonies and by use Enlightenment ideas people had freedom to choose different ways to which they could praise their God.
Key prominent people such as Thomas Jefferson of United States were deeply influenced by the concept of Enlightenment which meant the country was also too. Thomas was great man who applied Enlightenment principles and ideas to deal with the day to day phenomena. As the biographer of Declaration of Independence, Thomas helped to shape United States by solidifying the terms of people rights in terms of religion and government. Moreover he was able to understand the significance important of education in making fundamental work in United Nations such as founding the Virginia University. In his ways, Thomson represented how Enlightenments ideals were put in place in the American colonies. Other men, such as Ben Franklin for example, used Enlightenment ideas to formulate many of the institution and regions (Mary, & Henry, 1986).
The founding fathers Enlightenment influence came through the wittings of Adam smith who definitely understood that there was an unseen hand that guided the economic growth and development of a society which would work best if left to function autonomously. At the hub of Adams smith belief, was the outlook of man as a cogent and rational creature who was able to identify and follow his own needs. We might put into the record other Enlightenment rational thinkers such as Diderot and Rousseau but also we should adequately say that rational ideas of these great men were replicated the views and thoughts of the founding fathers. For example the founding fathers tried to emphasize on Enlightenment by saying…“we grasp this truths and thoughts to be self apparent…”implying that a man is capable to hold the truth and ahead of this, all people are equally rational and thus evenly able to follow their lives needs, follow their happiness and gladness and live freely (George, & Roy, (2000). The heart that hit in the body of a democracy nation is a motive to smile, for only people who are rational and free, and are able to live in democracy or rather democratic system, is a structure of government which was created to keep in touch with human nature. Liberty lacking rationality brings out fear, terror and anarchism. Reason and motives without freedom leads may lead to rebellion, as our founding fathers established. This is the major Enlightenment influence that the founding fathers faced.
In conclusion the men who shaped our nations did the right thing that can not be put into questioning. They were educated men, most of them were lawyers, and they acted as political and economical educators who brought the age of Enlightenment values and ideas into reality to different nations and people. Enlightenment was a turning point from the morals ideals of political and social structures of a Nobel and feudal society. The theorists of the Enlightenment were the indicators of a new and rising, a class of well-informed and prosperous businessmen and merchants.
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