What was integral to the spread of Enlightenment from Europe to America? A) the high literacy rates in New England colonies that enabled the settlers to read books and newspapers B) the development...

What was integral to the spread of Enlightenment from Europe to America? A) the high literacy rates in New England colonies that enabled the settlers to read books and newspapers B) the development of plantations that encouraged more Europeans to migrate to America for gainful employment C) the arrival of the English preacher George Whitefield who toured American colonies giving sermons D) the correspondence between Britain's Royal Society and the American Philosopher Society E) The mechanistic view of the universe as postulated by the British scientist Isaac Newton

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Of these options, the best answer is Option A.  One way to look at this is to understand why the other options are wrong.

Option B is not a good option.  This is largely because the creation of plantations did not attract many Europeans to the Americas.  The plantations, in fact, tended to scare Europeans away from the slave states.  They wanted to go to places whose economies were not dominated by plantations worked by slaves.

Option C is not a good answer.  It is not about the Enlightenment.  Instead, it has to do with the Great Awakening.  The Great Awakening was a major religious revival whose ideas were rather different than those of the Enlightenment.

Options D and E could be correct but they are not plausible.  In order for the Enlightenment to spread, it had to be accessible to large numbers of people.  Abstruse theories about the way the universe works and correspondence between learned, elite groups would not have been very effective in spreading the Enlightenment.  Instead, the Enlightenment was more likely to spread if a large number of people gained the ability to read Enlightenment ideas.  Thus, the best answer is Option A.  

For more information on the Enlightenment, check out this video: 

Sources:

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