Enlightenment and Puritans

782 Words Jun 17th, 2018 4 Pages
The Enlightenment period, also known as The Age of Reason, was a period of social, religious, and political revolution throughout the 18th century which changed the thoughts of man during this “awakening” time. It was a liberation of ignorant thoughts, ideas, and actions that had broken away from the ignorant perception of how society was to be kept and obeyed thus giving little room for new ideas about the world. Puritan society found these new ideas of thought to be extremely radical in comparison to what they believed which was a belief of strong rational religion and morality. Enlightened society believed that the use of reason would be a catalyst of social change and had a demand of political representation thus resulting in a …show more content…
Because of ideas that the Enlightenment brought forth from writing they also made a significant impact on how politics would transition from the old theocratic view of government into a democratic institution. Next, the new ideal of government started bringing new ideas of how the government should be ran. The old theocracy of the Puritans gave power to the ministers of the older settlements which limited all power from the people. An example of political philosophy ideas that were proposed was the introduction of empiricism by John Locke which profoundly influenced American society to the thought that government had an emphasis of a social contract which created a consistency between society and the laws of nature. This meant that power would reside with the people rather than the state. The Puritan government, before the Enlightenment, was shrouded in myth and radical religious rule where they believed that God had everything to do with how they should rule society and decisions that had to be made. Enlightenment philosophers that would eventually come to be, such as Thomas Jefferson, introduced the Constitution which stated that the government would be “for the people, by people”, resulting into equal rights for all and giving power to the people to make decisions. These ideas of equality and other ideas of political freedom would give way to changes in the social philosophy of the Puritans.
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