The Impact Of Enlightenment On The Declaration Of Independence

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becomes an unpardonable issue. When taking Locke 's statements into account, it becomes clear that the Declaration 's goals were influenced by this Enlightenment philosopher, who stressed liberty and following natural law. However, Locke was not the only Enlightenment philosopher to influence the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Hobbes 's Leviathan was also largely influential in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. It was during the Enlightenment that the idea of the law of nature‒which was somewhat present in Protestant beliefs as seen by the Leveller 's belief that one has the right to self-preservation due to natural law‒began to be widely accepted. These natural laws could be discovered by means of reason and according…show more content…
The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means we can to defend ourselves" (Hobbes). It is the idea that men have the right according to natural law to defend themselves that is seen throughout the Declaration of Independence. The first sign of Enlightened thought in the Declaration is the mention of the "Laws of Nature" and that it was the colonies ' duty to "throw off such [a bad] Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security". The fact that the Declaration was written in an attempt to cast of the English crown after it abused them in ways such as "waging war against us...plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people" is direct evidence that the colonies were following Enlightened ideas that they had the right to do away with a government that caused them physical danger and harm. Hobbes ' Leviathan also states that "reason itself is always right reason" (Hobbes). This means that when two people come into conflict, there will be a reasonable argument for both sides as to why they are right and that neither reasonable thought process is inherently more correct than the other. It is for…show more content…
The basic principles of Deism state that there is a divine Creator, whom one might call God, who created the universe. However, it is believed that after creating the universe, this divine being stopped interfering with earthly affairs and left the universe to work according to the laws of nature. According to Deists, knowledge of this Creator and the laws of nature can be acquired through human reason. Additionally, Deists rejected miracles and believed that Jesus was merely a great preacher rather than the son of God, as neither of these ideas followed the logic of reason. This emphasis on reason and natural law appears as the direct influence of the Enlightenment on Deism, connecting the two systems of thought. Some of the Enlightenment philosophy that influenced the creation of Deist doctrine can be seen in Enlightenment philosophers ' works such as Thomas Hobbes ' Leviathan. Within the section on The Artificial Man, Hobbes states that "life is but a motion of limbs...For what is the heart but a spring...and the joints but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body such as was intended by the artificer" (Hobbes). By referring to the body and world in such a mechanical way, it seems that this philosopher is stating that the Creator, or "artificer", has
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