The Enlightenment And The American Revolution

2027 Words Jun 5th, 2016 9 Pages
The Enlightenment and the American Revolution
Everyone knows the story of how America came to be. It was similar to David versus Goliath, the American colonists against the potent England. England at the time of the Revolution, boasted the largest and most powerful fighting force in the history of the world. The Americans were rebellious country-cousins who wanted freedom from what they regarded as a capricious and tyrannical paternal England so they could govern themselves. The result was America.
How did they do it? A look at what influenced and motivated them might help answer this question. In particular, understanding the impact of Enlightenment thinking on the Revolutionaries, especially that small group of men, most people call The Founding Fathers, may help us understand the driving principles behind both the Revolution, and the subsequent evolution, or creation, of the United States of America.
Enlightenment thinkers were innovators. They questioned all theories that were undeniably correct (at the time). Among these philosophers were Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke. These five philosophers would eventually set down, entirely unbeknownst to them, an outline that The Founders would use. All the Founding Fathers (George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison) were well read, with regard to, on Enlightenment thinking. The ideas that Enlightenment thinkers brought to the world were, at the…
Open Document