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 to Thomas Hobbes "the first and fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow it. 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 al...
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... where the English crown was withholding liberties and strictly regulating many aspects of life such as politics, economics and trade. When analyzing the Declaration, it becomes evident that Thomas Jefferson not only took into account his own Deist beliefs and knowledge of Enlightenment philosophy but also the fact that much of the American colonies were predominantly Protestant and Puritan. And while texts such as Grace Abounding, Robinson Crusoe, and the works of Enlightenment philosophers show evidence of individual schools of thought influencing English literature, The Declaration of Independence serves as an example of how Protestantism, Enlightenment philosophy, and Deism came together to influence a text that significantly changed American life by proposing American freedom from England and resultantly founding much of modern American culture and government.
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