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Spread of Englightentenment from Europe to American Colonies

Western idea of Enlightenment was based on belief in reason. Its fundamental thinking was based on nature and aimed at human progress. Before the 18th century, the idea of enlightenment was confined only to Holland and England. After the peace of Utrecht in 1713, the idea of enlightenment began to spread towards France. The French philosophers were great writers and intellectuals. They had pointed out the ills of the society. Within a short span of time, France became the intellectual hub of enlightenment. Some of the great philosophers of the time Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau had lived there. Montesquieu was influenced by the philosophy of John Locke and he wrote The Spirit of the Laws. He stressed the importance of the separation of powers. One of the greatest literary works of Voltaire was Candida. His satirical approach and criticisms had changed the course of history. Another philosopher who had motivated the Americans was Jean Jacques Rousseau who wrote Social Contract. His love for liberty could be seen in his famous quote, "Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains." The French enlightenment had also deeply influenced the English thinkers. Some of the English philosophers were Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Edward Gibbon, Joseph Priestly, Richard Price and Thomas Paine. The idea of enlightenment spread throughout Europe.

Many of the great American leaders were influenced by the enlightenment thoughts. Great American political leaders like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were all influenced by the English and French philosophers. Thomas Paine's pamphlet, the Common Sense sparked off revolution in the American colonies. The pamphlet inspired many people to strive for independence and led to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of independence borrowed heavily from the works of the enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Rousseau and Montesquieu. The enlightenment ideas like natural law or self-determination had its roots in the enlightenment philosophies.

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Enlightenment Thought in the Colonies

Western idea of Enlightenment was based on belief in reason. Its fundamental thinking was based on nature and aimed at human progress. Before the 18th century, the idea of enlightenment was confined only to Holland and England. After the peace of Utrecht in 1713, the idea of enlightenment began to spread towards France. The French philosophers were great writers and intellectuals. They had pointed out the ills of the society. Within a short span of time, France became the intellectual ...

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This is a solution about the origin and spread of Enlightenment from Europe to American colonies.

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