The Enlightenment Is An Intellectual Movement During The 17th And 18th Century

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The Enlightenment is an intellectual movement during the 17th and 18th century that highlights the idea that traditions should no longer be in place but instead the idea of individualism should be encouraged. The ideas primarily promoted during that time were called ideals. The main ideals seen were natural rights, separation of power, social contract, laissez-faire, reason, and progress. An ideal that was ominously prevalent in many countries during that era was natural rights. The documents that encourage that ideal are The United States Constitution, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and An Address of Bolivar at the Congress of Angostura. The idea of natural rights intrigued many of the Enlightenment supporters and philosophes. Natural rights is the concept that each citizen is born with inalienable rights that no one can take away. Some of those rights that were insinuated were life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and property. This ideal was important because citizens everywhere had been living under a monarchy where their natural born rights were not very set in stone and the monarch’s had no boundaries. There were many philosophes during the Enlightenment that really found much interest in these ideals and spread the ideas through things like books. One philosophe that found much connection with this ideal was John Locke. During Locke’s Two Treaties of Government he makes the claim “…that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…” By saying this Locke was expressing that all men, being free and equal to all, should have the right to life, liberty, wellness, and property. This concept of natural rights was firmly supported by a lot o... ... middle of paper ... ...ent and Enlightenment ideals significantly altered the way the world thought and the way governments were structured. Many of those ideals are seen in government systems in modern day age and have permanently changed society’s even today. Natural rights are one of the ideals from the Enlightenment prevalently seen throughout different governments. Efficient exemplars for promoting natural rights is An Address of Bolivar at the Congress of Angostura, the United States Constitution, and The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. If today’s world was without the idea of natural rights, it would be a cruel world full of suffering people living under monarchs or tyrants. Natural rights grant us the things that we as citizens are born with, as in freedom of speech or religion. Without rights such as those, the people living today would be alive in a world of hurt.

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