Impact Of The Enlightenment

1189 Words5 Pages
2017
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity” (Nelson Mandela). The Enlightenment encouraged many to break out of the chains of society and enter into a world of reason and thought. In the early 19th century, various countries and societies were experiencing revolutions, reforms and progress all in the name of independence and equality (American Revolution, French Revolution and more). Natural law and basic human rights were drilled into the masses and created an environment filled with freedom, rights and increasing intellectual influence. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Enlightenment played a crucial yet a different key in political affairs around the world. The world, in a sense, was done fighting for equality, but were now fighting for power and honor for their country. The Enlightenment, ultimately, led to nationalism, which caused various events to follow through. Global society was mainly shaped by the ideas of the Enlightenment, such as natural laws, nationalism, industrialization/ capitalism and education.
On July 4th, 1776- the Declaration of Independence stated that “All men are created equal… that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Reilly 727). As seen, it’s clearly impacted by Hume’s Natural Laws. Additionally, in the late 19th and early 20th century, these “laws” were practiced from individual citizens to global society. The power to become an individual and own land clearly steep
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