Explain the roots of American Independence.I am a second grade science teacher and a student asked me this question yesterday and i felt bad i didnt know the answer. Please remind me? I need an...

Explain the roots of American Independence.

I am a second grade science teacher and a student asked me this question yesterday and i felt bad i didnt know the answer. Please remind me? I need an answer by tomorrow night

 

Asked on by jillaroo

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that much of American independence can be drawn from the Enlightenment thinkers.  The framers that ended up playing a significant political role in the new nation understood the importance of Enlightenment principles and ideas in their government.  American independence found much resonance in the thinking of John Locke.  Locke's notion of inalienable rights, what he called "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property," was reworded by Thomas Jefferson to be "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  Jefferson and the framers also took Locke's idea of government being a contract between the ruler and the ruled, arising from "the consent of the governed."  From Montesquieu, the notion of divided government and checks and balances emerged.  The Voltaire influence is evident in American independence for the colonists belived that the British violation of rights was inexcusable, and reason enough for breaking away from the parent nation.  The Patriotic cause was something that found its influence in many of the Enlightenment thinkers.

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