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How did ideas of the Enlightenment lead to the independence and founding of the United...

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luna600 | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:56 AM via web

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How did ideas of the Enlightenment lead to the independence and founding of the United States?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:07 AM (Answer #1)

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The ideas of the Enlightenment helped lead to the American Revolution and American independence because they formed the philosophical basis for America’s claim that it should have more autonomy.

One of the major ideas of the Enlightenment was that ideas should not be given credence simply because they were traditional.  People should not go on believing something just because that was how things had always been.  Another major idea of the Enlightenment was that governments should exist by the consent of the people and that those governments’ goal should be to protect the rights of the people.

Both of these ideas helped bring about American independence.  The Enlightenment encouraged Americans to reject the traditional ideas of monarchy.  It also encouraged them to demand the ability to consent to being ruled by their government.  Finally, it gave them the idea that they had the right to overthrow their government if it was not acting to protect their rights. 

Thus, the ideas of the Enlightenment helped give Americans the idea that they should become independent.

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