Politics – Influences By The Enlightenment Essay, Research Paper

Shaping Politics an enlightenment essay

We may see politics as something that was simply there for us to use, but we, the United States of America, had to concoct our very own form of government – a government that reflected what we wanted. But what did we want? What influences were had on our political system and our declaration of independence? Prepare yourself, because we are going to delve into a world of intrigue and splendor, a world where the fun just doesn t seem to stop. Get ready for some history!

First, we find ourselves all asking the same question, What is The Enlightenment? Well, Webster defines the enlightenment as a philosophic movement of the 18th century marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism. That s an exemplary summary, but it s not quite enough to quench our thirst for knowledge. You see, in the mid to late 1700 s, philosophers such as John Locke and the Baron de Montesquieu would come up with ideas not based on religion or tradition, but what they felt was naturally given to them.

An important person of the enlightenment era, who guided those that were lost and without cause, was a man from England, named John Locke. He himself was influence by the Dean of Christ Church College who said that people should be allowed to have their own religious ideas and that they should not be punished for such. Locke agreed and felt that everyone s voice is important if they are the governed. It was his belief that people could make rational decisions and properly govern themselves. The idea of divine right infuriated Locke; it is preposterous to use this as an excuse to be controlling so many people s lives. It is also important to note that John supported the idea of dividing the government into three branches as to deter any temptation to control such a superfluous amount of power. One last thing, Locke felt that women are equal to men and should have an equal voice in government and whatnot.

The Baron de Montesquieu was another philosophe worth…

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