Jean Jacques Rousseau And The Declaration Of Independence Essay

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an Enlightenment thinker during the eighteenth century and is most noted for his work The Social Contract. The Social Contract published in 1762 and is a philosophical document that expresses the ideas of popular sovereignty. Popular Sovereignty is a form of government in which “the doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chosen to govern, as trustees of such power, must exercise it in conformity with the general will.” This is basically a fancy way of saying that the people have the power of authority of their government and the people should decide how they are governed. Like The Social Contract, the Declaration of Independence is a document that sets out to explain the relationship between a government and its people based on an an understanding of that relationship. The Declaration of Independence was composed by Thomas Jefferson in 1766, and shares many of the same ideals as The Social Contract. The Social Contract and the Declaration of Independence are more similar than different because Jean-Jacques Rousseau influenced John Locke, whose Social Contract Theories directly influenced Thomas Jefferson during the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
The First example of how The Social Contract is more similar than different to The Declaration of Independence is how both documents express the responsibility of liberalism to the people. Rousseau believed that the government’s power should come from the people. He
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