Enlightenment Movement Variations

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United States

The Enlightenment had an important impact on the formative years of the United States as an independent nation. Although little Enlightenment literature came out of America, the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution embodied the principles espoused by the philosophes. Some of the central figures of early America (such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin) were admirers of Enlightenment writers, which influenced their decision-making and their political writing. In drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson drew on some of the fundamental ideas of the Enlightenment, such as humanity's basic goodness and ability to rule itself, the injustices of corrupt governments, and the belief that all individuals should be free to pursue happiness. The Constitution, which lays out the American system of government, was drafted in 1787 and contains many ideas inspired by Enlightenment writers and theorists.

Scotland

Hume's philosophical writings about human rational processes and...

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Literary Movements for Students
Enlightenment from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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