~The Enlightenment and The Revolutions~ The Scientific Revolution was what introduced the way of thinking based on experimentation, observation and applying reason. Therefore inspired people to apply reason to human society and this brought about the Enlightenment thinkers. These thinkers and their ideas was what led to the strive for independence and equality, which then led to Revolutions. From the mid-1700's through the mid-1800's Revolutions took place in Europe, the American and Latin American colonies. What all these Revolutions had in common was that they all influenced one another and were all influenced by the Enlightenment. The main Enlightenment thinkers were Hobbes, Locke, Montes que, Voltaire, Rousseau, Beccaria, and Willson craft.
Each one of these people are unique for their own ideas and what they contributed to the Enlightenment. Even though each one had different ideas on different topics they all shared the main overall view. They all wanted to bring about change for the enhancement of life for the people. The Enlightenment thinkers listed above were the people who had the ideas which influenced the French, Americans, and Latin Americans to revolt and fight for their independence and freedom. John Locke was an Enlightenment thinker and he believed in Natural rights (life liberty and property). Also Locke believed in the right to impeach and establish a new government if the current government fails to protect the people.
(Document 2) The Two Treatises on Government (1690) written by John Locke and The Declaration of Independence (1776) written by Thomas Jefferson both share a common ideas for self-government (democracy). The government is to protect the people and their natural rights and the people have the right to overthrow the government if they fail to protect these rights. The reason these two documents are similar is because Thomas Jefferson's ideas were influenced by those of John Locke. Jefferson agreed with many of Locke's views of the people and how the government should be run in order to protect the people. The National Assembly created The Declaration of the rights of man in 1789 (Document 3). This document was influenced by the Enlightenment ideas and The Declaration of Independence.
The document stated that all men are born and shall remain equal and free in rights, have natural right (liberty property, security) and have equal justice, freedom for speech and religion. Freedom of speech, expression and religion were the ideas of Voltaire. This document is also related to The Social Contract written by Enlightenment thinker Jean Jacques Roussaeu in 1763. Rousseau believed in rule by the general will, consent of the governed and that man is born free. He states that "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." which I believe means that man is born free but is chained by the laws and rule of the government. The Declaration of the Rights of man states that every citizen has the right to participate in the laws formation just as Rousseau believed in the rule of general will.
Simon Bolivar was a thinker and a fighter and therefore known as the hero of Latin American independence. Some of the Political ideas of Simon Bolivar (Document 4) were that Spain deprived America for the exercise and experience in government because America received everything from Spain. This exclusion made it difficult for them to acquaint themselves wit management of public affairs. He claimed that Spain deliberately kept them in ignorance and cut off from all matters of government.
Bolivar stated "I will not rest until I have broken the chains that bind us to the will of Spain." This showed how the Revolution was going to be difficult because of their ignorance in government but Bolivar was determined to break the chains. Simon Bolivar was again like the others influenced by the Enlightenment. The Latin American independence movement was another example of how the democratic ideas of the Enlightenment spread. By 1800 the writing of the Enlightenment authors were spread throughout the Spanish American colonies.
Also the American Revolution helped Bolivar's movement because in 1807 the United States allowed him to study the American system of Government. In 1810 Bolivar went to London and there he studied the British institutions of government. By doing this Bolivar was able to overcome his ignorance in Government and was able to write the Constitution of Bolivia in 1819 and was able to declare Venezuela's independence in 1821. Venezuela's independence then led to the fight for the other Latin American colonies to gain their independence. In the American Revolution The Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson was mainly influenced by Locke and his views.
The Declaration of The Rights of Man written by the Nation Assembly was influenced by The Declaration of Independence, Roussaeu, and other Enlightenment ideas. Simon Bolivar was influenced by the American and French Revolutions, Enlightenment authors, thinkers and ideas. As you can now clearly see these Revolutions were influenced strongly by the Enlightenment and each Revolution influenced one another. All these brilliant thinkers helped to make change and reached for the freedom and equality we value today.