The Enlightenment in America

Start Free Trial

Student Question

When did the American Enlightenment end?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The American Enlightenment refers to the period of time leading to the American Revolution and the United States of America. It was a time of ideological and political reformation for the thirteen colonies that led to the forming of an independent country. Primarily led by Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington, it was influenced by the Enlightenment that swept through Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since the American Enlightenment refers to a time period in which thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies were developing and changing, there is no specific end date. Many historians claim it ended around the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century, after the Constitution went into effect and the Bill of Rights were signed.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial