Jefferson said it was a blast against “chains” of “monkish ignorance and superstition” in which men had willingly bound themselvesDeclaration ofIndependence
American Rebellion“The spirit of the European Enlightenmentinformed the American Declaration ofIndependence.” – Reject monarchy/dynastic legitmacy – Began as tax revolt/fiscal crisis – Endorse Equality (white males) – Based on consent of governed – Inalienable Natural Rights – Including Right of Rebellion when rights violated – Written constitution to limit govt power
John Locke 1632-1794Key inspiration for Decl of IndependencePhysician“Two Treatises on Government” (1690) argues consent of people basis of political legitimacySocial contract theoryLimited governmentNatural rightsSeparation of Religion and Govt faith private matter
Locke’s Letter on Toleration (1689)“chief identifying mark of the trueChurch”
French Revolution• Murder king!• Began as severe tax revolt/fiscal crisis, caused .5 % Clergy & by French support of 1.5% Nobles, 1st Americans! and 2nd Estates , all wealth no• Declarations of Rights of taxes Man and Citizen 86% of peasants, 3rd Estate, no wealth all taxes
Compare AmericanRebellion/French Revolution Originated as tax revolts British caused by fighting French French caused by aiding Americans @ Brits!
Some Differences betweenthe Rebellion and theRevolution? • 1. Americans did not kill the king! – Terror, determined fight by aristocrats all over Europe • 2. Three thousands miles of ocean • 3. George Washington! (He was not Bonaparte!)