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Changing the World

Jillian Saliba
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Have you ever wondered where the world be today if we did not have philosophers like

John Locke and Voltaire? The Enlightenment started in the early 1700s in Paris. The

enlightenment is all about new scientific advances and revolution of thinking. The Enlightenment

was about ideas flowing throughout Europe and beyond. The Enlightenment held the greatest

thinkers of all time. Those thinkers were called Philosophers which means lovers of wisdom.

Enlightenment thinkers could solve social, political, and economic power. Enlightenment

philosophers had an enormous impact on the United States government. The Declaration of

Independence and the Constitution are proof that these philosophers.

The Declaration of Independence was inspired by John Locke. World history:

Connections to today, John Locke stated People were basically reasonable and moral Locke

had an optimistic view of people and their habits. He believed in natural rights, rights that belong

to all humans from birth. These natural rights are the right of life, liberty, and property. Thomas

Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence, getting most of his ideas from John Locke.

Locke claimed that people had the right to revolt against unjust governments. Voltair influenced

Thomas Jefferson also. Voltair defended the idea of freedom and speech. Voltair is the reason

why we have freedom of speech in our society today, if it was not for Voltair, we would not be

able to do the things we can. The document also emphasized the principle of popular sovereignty,

which states that all government power comes from the people.

The Constitution was influenced by John Locke, Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques

Rousseau. Locke was an optimistic thinker. He believed that all people were moral in their
natural state of being. He also believed that the best kind of government was the one with limited

power and was accepted by all citizens. Montesquieu studied the branches of government. World

History: Connections today, states that he felt that the separation of powers was the best way to

protect liberty. He studied that the British government had the idea of the separation of powers.

That is why today we have the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Rousseau believed that people were naturally innocent, however it was corrupted by the evils of

society, and the uneven distribution of property. Rousseau also thought that people should have

some control, but those controls should be minimal. Rousseaus ideas influenced many political

thinkers. All of these philosophers influenced the constitution and the information written in it.

The Enlightenment was a time of some tremendous philosophers. Some of the greatest

philosophers came out of the Enlightenment. If it was not for these philosophers that helped

influence these documents, we would not have the freedom we have today. The world would not

be the same as it is today if these philosophers did not help influence the Declaration of

independence and the Constitution. We would not have the freedom that we do today if it was not

for these philosophers. Both of these documents drastically changed our world. All of these

philosophers contributed into making these documents what they are today.
Historians Paper Rubric /40
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Content (20 Points)

Format (14 Points) *2 points each


Times New Roman___
12 Point Font___
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Title centered, name is underneath, space bar included___
In text citations are formatted according to this class___
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