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The Enlightenment - Research Paper Example

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What best defines this age is the collection of philosophers and mathematicians that brought these new ideas into being. Some of the most famous of these philosophers were John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Montesquieu and Voltaire. The Age of Enlightenment had thinkers from many of the major powers in Europe such as Germany, Spain, Russia, Poland, England and Scotland. These Enlightenment thinkers, though not Americans, had a profound influence on American history. It is through the writings of these philosophers of the Enlightenment that lead the Founding Fathers of the United States to place such emphasis on personal freedom, property rights, a balance of powers in government and republicanism. The very best way to see the influence the Age of Enlightenment has on American history is to examine some of the thoughts of the leading philosophers and then trace how they influenced the foundational documents of the United States. Of all the Enlightenment thinkers, John Locke was perhaps the most influential over the American revolutionaries. Locke was an Englishman, the son of a lawyer and well educated at some of the finest schools. ...Show more

Summary

The Age of Enlightenment in Europe began around the year 1650 and lasted for nearly 150 years. This time period saw a flowering of thought and philosophy that placed logic and reason at the center of human activity. It differed greatly from Renaissance and the thinking of the Middle Ages in that is questioned the role of organized religion and the dealings of god with humanity…
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