The ideologies of the movement would not have gained impetus if the print media had not yet flourished, which promoted a renewed interest in the discovery of knowledge especially among the elites. One of the founding centers of the Enlightenment was France. Voltaire (1694–1778) was a French radical thinker who epitomized the Enlightenment ideals of freedom of speech and rational thought over blind faith in religion. Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755) was another Enlightenment figure who revolutionized political discourse. He praised the republic as the best form of government and paved way for the division of the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. Diderot was the architect of the Encyclopedia which was published over a period of twenty one years (1751–1772). Though the Enlightenment ideals originated in France it spread to different parts of Europe and the world. Each country saw the emergence of a bunch of radical thinkers in various fields. In England it was epitomized by Isaac Newton. John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume were the other exponents of the Enlightenment in England. In America the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin created waves. It encouraged a widespread thirst for knowledge among the elites and the cultivation of scientific rationalism. Many of these philosophes set the mood for a tremendous intellectual and cultural revolution which left no stone in the society unturned. In the essay let us look at the political, economic, and scientific ripples created by the Enlightenment across the world.
Many leaders of the American Revolution like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine were greatly influenced by the English and French Enlightenment thought, especially John Locke’s idea of liberalism. The Enlightenment clearly defied the absolutism of monarchy and upheld democracy. The common man was tired of being suppressed under the absolutist monarchs and they were influenced by the teachings