Jean-Jacques Rousseau Influence on the Declaration of Independence

743 WordsAug 7, 20133 Pages
The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of America. It contains “the words that made America,” (Fink, 9). Five of the founding fathers got together and penned this important document. As they penned this document, they were inspired by a number of European philosophers and writers. One of these philosophers was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. “Jean-Jacques Rousseau played a significant role in three different revolutions: in politics, his work inspired and shaped revolutionary sentiment in the American colonies and France; in philosophy, he proposed radically unsettling ideas about human nature, justice, and progress that disrupted the dominant Enlightenment thinking of the moment and helped to spark the Romantic movement; and in…show more content…
The United States of America was established in the Enlightenment period. No other country has the imprint of this period like the United States. “The contributions of men like Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson to the founding and development of America and its ideals are inconceivable outside of an Enlightenment context,” (Staloff, 3). The ideals of liberty and equality echos the language of the Enlightenment and conveys the most intense thoughts about the political life and the rights of mankind. It was through this Enlightenment that they wrote the Declaration of Independence and founded the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson was a young delegate to the Continental Congress. He was often consider lively and vivacious among his friends, but in public, he was often soft-spoken and shy. Despite the fact that Jefferson was a quiet man, he was a scholar and skillful writer. This quiet young man was asked by John Adams to write “the first draft of the statement we know today as the Declaration of Independence—a tough job, since the writer would have to come up with a document that all thirteen colonies could accept,” (Freedman, 62). It has been said that Jefferson tried to get out of writing the first draft. Jefferson thought that Adams should be the one to write it, but Adams refused to give in to Jefferson’s
Open Document