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Declaration of independence


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This unit compares and contrasts the relatively conservative nature of the “American Rebellion” with the more radical path of the “French Revolution,” and explores the long lasting impacts of both on the world to this day. The key question posed in Chapter 17 is whether political change can occur without fundamental social change and economic disruption. The text concludes that given the right circumstances—such as the comparatively simple problems faced by the Americans, and the freedom of being three thousand miles away—it was possible to replace one form of government with another, without a complete transformation of society. On the other hand the situation in France, which deteriorated quickly into bloodshed and dictatorship, indicated just how difficult it would be to institute a new governmental structure when entrenched religious, social, and economic forces stood in the way. Ultimately the rebellion in American and the revolution in France would become two great landmarks in the evolution of human freedom, demonstrating both the promise and the peril of change.

Published in: Education
  • I have been very impressed with the early great philosophers such as John Locke who became educated in the field of medicine and his authored works in economics, education, political theory as well as his faith in God. It's no wonder, the first framers of our U.S, Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson were deeply influenced by the famous writers and philosophers such as I mentioned John Locke who inspired these men who framed our U. S.Constitution.
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Declaration of independence

  1. 1. Jefferson said it was a blast against “chains” of “monkish ignorance and superstition” in which men had willingly bound themselvesDeclaration ofIndependence
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. John Locke 1632-1794Key inspiration for Decl of IndependencePhysician“Two Treatises on Government” (1690) argues consent of people basis of political legitimacySocial contract theoryLimited governmentNatural rightsSeparation of Religion and Govt faith private matter
  4. 4. Locke’s Letter on Toleration (1689)“chief identifying mark of the trueChurch”
  5. 5. Locke’s Letter on Toleration(1689)
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. Compare AmericanRebellion/French Revolution Originated as tax revolts  British caused by fighting French  French caused by aiding Americans @ Brits!
  8. 8. 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!)