Effects Of The Enlightenment On Modern America

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Regina Hamilton Dr. Ermus WOH1030 22 September 2014 Effects of The Enlightenment on Modern America There are many things that set America apart from the world. Most notably are our political structure, social structure, capitalistic ideals, and the free exchange of ideas and beliefs that were all born from the desire for freedom. After hundreds of years of being told what to do by the Church and the monarchy, there came a time when the people decided that it was time to come out from under the thumb of both, and to become something better. None of this would have been possible if The Enlightenment had not paved the way. The Enlightenment fueled formation of America and continued influencing the evolution of America in to what it is today. During the 1500’s a movement away from traditional Catholicism started to take hold. The most notable figure during this time was Martin Luther. He had ideals that, at the time, were extremely radical. As Gerald Strauss put it, “His doctrine of the two realms- the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of the world, derived directly from Augustine – entailed the strictest segregation of things spiritual and things material” (22). He did not believe that the people of the church had any right to control the population at large. He believed that they were meant to be spiritual guides, not rulers, and that they wielded way too much control over the common people. One of the most radical things that he did, which was also the most influential
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