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28 August, 00:01

How did Enlightenment thinking influence the

Declaration of Independence?

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  1. 28 August, 00:55
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    The Enlightenment was a series of ideas from the 17th and 18th-century that held that human reason was the key to human emancipation and autonomy in a radical assertion of human capacity for self-improvement. Several authors who identified with this worldview wrote about how freedom could be achieved through the use of reason, kept and encouraged by governments.

    The Enlightenment author most influent on the Declaration of Independence was Montesquieu (1689-1755). He claimed that separation of powers between Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary would create a scenario where none of them had enough space to expand in an despotic (authoritarian) manner. Believing that every man with power would want to abuse it, he created this tripartite division where power should stop power. This idea is heavily present in the US Constitution through the checks and balances system.
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