Why do we study the Enlightenment?

“The Enlightenment” has been regarded as a turning point in the intellectual history of the West. The principles of religious tolerance, optimism about human progress and a demand for rational debate are often thought to be a powerful legacy of the ideas of Locke, Newton, Voltaire and Diderot.

What do we owe the Enlightenment?

Wherever we look today in academia, scholars are rushing to defend the Enlightenment ideas of political and individual liberty, human rights, faith in scientific reason, secularism, and the freedom of public debate. These ideas are, after all, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. …

What ideas from the Enlightenment are in our government today?

In turn, the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and justice helped to create the conditions for the American Revolution and the subsequent Constitution. Democracy was not created in a heartbeat.

What Enlightenment ideas are present in the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights reflects a key Enlightenment idea because it limits what government can do and it does so in order to protect the rights of the people. According to Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, the purpose of government was to protect the basic human rights of its people.

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