The Continuing Age of Enlightenment Analytical Essay by Nicky

The Continuing Age of Enlightenment
A philosophical exploration of the Age of Enlightenment as it related to the American Revolution, and the effects that remain today.
# 146797 | 1,288 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper explores the philosophies that developed during the Age of Enlightenment, which moved from the abstract and the sentiments taught and upheld by religion to the concrete and the capabilities of reason by the individual himself. The paper explains that a moral sense was given to the individual; his realization was the focus of society and government. The paper asserts that this central thought dominated and influenced the American Revolution and the French Revolution; it remains inherent in today's information and globalization era. The paper reaches the conclusion that reason is autonomous and superior to religion and authority; this remains the substantial spirit of contemporary times, which look to self-actualization of potentials in terms of the concrete.

The Age of Enlightenment
The American Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment
The French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment

From the Paper:

"John Locke's ideas are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence (Nay 2001). These are the government's responsibility to protect the people's natural rights, the limited power of government, government's obligation to the governed, acceptability of the government to all citizens, and the people's right to overthrow government if it fails in its obligations or takes the people's natural rights. Montesquieu's ideas on checks and balances in government are reflected in the separation of governmental powers in the United States Constitution. Voltaire's writings opened people's eyes about the injustice of the slave trade and religious prejudice. They also defended the freedom of speech. The American Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech. Rousseau was a major advocate of democracy who believed that authority lay with the people. He believed that man is born free; that controls set by freely constituted government are good; and the people sacrificed self-interest for the government in consenting to it. Diderot's encyclopedias introduced a new way of thought on government, philosophy and religion. The writers of the US Constitution used the ideas of these philosophers on social contract in setting up a government by the people. The ideal was the people's government, which would preserve their natural rights (Nay)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kagan, Donald, et al. "The French Revolution." Chapter 19. The Western Heritage. Prentice Hall Companion: Prentice Hall, 2008. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Microsoft Encarta. Age of Enlightenment. MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia: Microsoft Corporation, 2008. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Nay, Annette. Could the American Revolution Have Happened Without the Age of Enlightenment? AnnetteNay: Three Peaks, 2001. Retrieved on February 24, 2009 from
  • Rempel, Gerhard. The Age of Enlightenment. Western New, 2009. Retrieved on February 25, 2009 from
  • Rioux, Frank. The EPR Experiment with Photons. Department of Chemistry: St. John's University, 2009. Retrieved on February 25, 2009 from

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Continuing Age of Enlightenment (2011, January 17) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Continuing Age of Enlightenment" 17 January 2011. Web. 07 December. 2023. <>