The Historical Period of Enlightenment

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Enlightenment The historical period which is known as the Enlightenment occurred during the latter half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century. The period was marked by a decided increase placed on the importance of scientific and philosophical investigation. Political philosophy was one of the most frequent and important branches of theorizing and discourse. One of the most famous political theoreticians was a man named John Locke. His theories would revolutionize the way that people thought about their governments and what right they had, if any, in questioning their government. Later, the rebellion between the colonies and Great Britain and then the subsequent founding of the United States of America would be based upon the writings of Locke, particularly his theories of toleration, the concept of republic, and his social contract theory. In his book Letters Concerning Toleration, John Locke wrote in response to the frequent holy wars on English history. English history and their colonies were based upon Christian tenets, and the governments and armies of the English throne were acting based upon their religious principles. Because of that cause, many people died. It would logically then reason that if there were more toleration of religious differences, there would be far fewer occasions of bloodshed because of religious viewpoint (McGrath 1998, page 214). This would become the basis then for the First Amendment of the United States Constitution
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