Third Research Paper: Political Philosophies, the Age of Reason and Revolution
Arguably the most important event in human history during the past 300 years was the American Revolution. At its core, the American Revolution was the ideological child of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment. European philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, Bacon and Montesquieu defined the exchange of political and scientific theory and knowledge between Europe and the New World. The American Founding Fathers were all educated men of the Enlightenment. They were thoroughly versed in the new ideas of scientific inquiry and political self-determination that were being advanced by these philosophers in Europe. Familiarity with these concepts allowed the American founders to successfully rebel and eventually to separate themselves from Great Britain—our revolutionary era.
Immediately following the American Revolution, the other great revolution of Western Culture occurs. The French Revolution is fired by the ideas expressed by the Americans and also by their attendant military successes against Great Britain. However the French Revolution sees a very different and bloody outcome. During the 19th Century, Europe undergoes a radical reformation of its political and philosophical foundations. New political ideas will emerge and provide fuel for philosophical consideration well into the 20th Century, a time that sees Europe torn between competing political ideologies.
For the purposes of this assignment, you must draw extensively on your readings from both of your texts. You should know not only the history of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, but also of the American Revolution, French Revolution and the writings of the philosophers expressed in your Readings to Accompany Experience Humanities.
Once you have completed your research and readings, put together a paper, between 2000-2200 words. In it I want you to address the following: Explain the influences of the Enlightenment and Age of Reason philosophers on the American Revolution. How is the American Revolution different from the French Revolution? Drawing on the readings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and others, describe how they view their struggles for freedom and equality. Did the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment benefit them?
Remember your paper must be submitted online in either .doc or .docx format. It must be double-spaced in either 11 or 12 pt Times New Roman or Arial fonts.