The Enlightenment and the
Beginning of the American
How to pay for the Seven Years
The British had spent a great deal of money
fighting the French.
The war began in the American Colonies and the
British blamed them for it. They began pushing
for the Americans to pay back for the war.
Also, the British had made an agreement with the
Indians to keep the Americans out of Indian
The Americans wanted the freedom to go where
they wanted to go, regardless of what the British
The colonists wanted the British to keep them
safe from the Indians.
How to raise the money
King George III and Parliament raised taxes on
the colonies to pay for:
Protection from the Indians
Colonists weren’t happy though because they
had no say in Parliament. “No taxation without
Colonists’ response and the “Boston
The colonists began
One day, a collection
of protesters began
(and some say rocks
and sticks) at British
(no one knows) and
the British fired on the
people. Five people
Boston Tea Party
After the “massacre,” the British began tightening
down on the Boston.
Taxes increased. Soldiers were in control of the
A group of colonists called the Sons of Liberty
disguised themselves as Indians and began
throwing British tea in the sea.
And the Enlightenment?
interested in the
Locke taught everyone
had a right to life,
liberty, and property.
This greatly influenced
He also taught that a
tramples these rights
should be replaced.
The end of the beginning
The colonists wrote a letter to the king asking for
rights and freedoms. This was called the “Olive
The king ignored this.
At that point, Thomas Jefferson and several
others were tasked with writing a “Declaration of
It borrowed many of Locke’s ideas (specifically:
Jefferson, Franklin, and the
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, two of
the authors of the Declaration of Independence,
spent a great deal of time in France learning from
the Enlightenment philosophers.