The Influence of Enlightenment Thinking on Colonial AmericaImage: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1680&bih=959&tbs=sur:fmc&tbm=isch&tbnid=ZHeWAKxpyHSXaM:&imgrefurl=http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/28324&docid=_SfumYAoHSePsM&imgurl=http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/02/83/028324_462549e0.jpg&w=640&h=480&ei=DcBTT9XSDIHe0QH3r73wDQ&zoom=1
Image: http://host3.images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flickr-1284272029-medium.jpgThe first Puritans who settled in New England brought withthem a passion and conviction in their religious beliefs. TheEnlightenment had a profound effect on religion here in thecolonies and the way that we viewed progress. ManyChristians found the enlightened view of the world consistentwith Christian beliefs, and used this rational thinking assupport for the existence and benevolence of God.
In the colonies, theEnlightenment wasappreciated by influentialcolonials who were intent onkeeping up with theEuropeans’ advancements.Among those responsible forspread of the Enlightenmentin America was ProfessorJohn Winthrop, the long-time governor ofConnecticut. Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JohnWinthropColorPortrait.jpg
Be Franklin is probably the person most of us recognize from the age of Enlightenment. In the course of his life, Franklin owned a printing press, published Poor Richards Almanac, founded a fire company and a library, and helped start a debating club. He is also credited with several inventions, including the lightning rod, a glassImage: harmonica, and the Franklin stove.http://quotationsbook.com/assets/shared/img/2619/Benjamin_Franklin_by_Jean-Baptiste_Greuze.jpg
The Enlightenment also had animpact on education. Franklinhelped found the College ofPhiladelphia, which later becamethe University of Pennsylvania. Atthe same time, a spate of otherlearning institutions arose, includingthe College of New Jersey, Collegeof Philadelphia, Kings, Queens,Brown, and Dartmouth. Thoughthese colleges’ primary focusremained to train ministers, theEnlightenment opened up educationbeyond that single purpose. The Image: http://www.google.com/imgres?focus on education led to the hl=en&biw=1680&bih=959&tbs=sur:fmc&tbm=isch&tbnid=ork6- rJkxeTuwM:&imgrefurl=http://www.cehwiedel.com/booklists/200establishment of public libraries and 6/01/Booklist.20060120.htm&docid=CvWklkgXnfB6hM&imgurl= http://www.cehwiedel.com/booklists/2006/01/image/BenFranklin Books.png&w=300&h=359&ei=D8RTT9LMAqH20gH0iMGADgan increasing amount of social &zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=150&sig=114673872286523793523&pa ge=1&tbnh=104&tbnw=87&start=0&ndsp=46&ved=1t:429,r:0,s: 0&tx=45&ty=51activism.
The Enlightenment’s influence on eighteenth-century Americashould not be underestimated. Advances in science and thearts, along with increased religious freedom, carried over intomodern society. The focus on balance and order set thegroundwork for an American governing system that includeda balance of power. Our founding fathers believed that byusing reason and logic, we could create a better form ofgovernment. And, this we did right here in America! Image:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_flag_13_stars_%E2%80%93_Betsy_Ross.svg