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18th Century of Enlightenment & Revolution - Essay Example

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The eighteenth (18th) century was marked by major enlightenment events like the death of Louis XIV of France and the beginning of the French revolution. According to Hobbes, the governments should have limited powers and should protect the natural rights of the citizens…
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18th Century of Enlightenment & Revolution
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Download file to see previous pages According to Hobbes’ view, the governments should have limited powers and should protect the natural rights of the citizens. According to his social contract, citizens should reject monarchies and should overthrow the governments that fail in protecting the civil liberties and natural rights. Voltaire writings allowed the Americans to see injustices such as slavery and religious prejudice. The writings also defended the freedom of expression and speech1. Enlightenment helped the African Americans to challenge the old methods of thinking and challenged the divine authority of the slave owners. Thomas Paine writings stressed that American colonist should be independent from British oppression since there was a need to end the ancient tyranny. The 1764 Sugar Act which increased duties on sugar imports from West Indies was unjust for Americans while the 1765 Stamp Act was unjustified on the marriage licenses and newspapers since Americans had no representation in Parliament. Enlightenment led to the enactment of the American constitution in July 4th 1776, the declaration of independence reflected the original ideas of enlightenment since people should have the right to overthrown dictatorial governments that fail in protecting natural rights of the citizens. ...
States like South Carolina and Delaware had temporarily stopped slavery after the Declaration of Independence while Massachusetts gradually made provisions for the abolition3. Constitution Convention of 1787 made provisions of abolition until 1808 but only few States ratified the provision. In 1794, the Congress prohibited the American citizens from supplying slaves to foreigners4. In 1800, Gabriel Prosser who was an enslaved African American, organized slave revolts with the intention of civil marches in Virginia but the conspiracy was unsuccessful. The African Colonization Society that was founded in 1816, facilitated in sending back slaves to Africa5. African Americans like Fredrick Douglass and William Wells Brown provided accounts of the difficulties that slaves were undergoing in the Southern States and started organizing other Blacks to support Underground Railway. The Underground Railway project would transport slaves to the Northern Slave Free States through secrecy thus tensions between the North and South ensured leading to fueling of the abolitionist movements. Several African Americans started organizing slave strikes in South Carolina in 1822 where Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African American carpenter together with thirty four other slaves was hanged for engaging in a conspiracy siege Charleston6. In 1831, Nat Turner who was African American preacher led a deadly rebellion in Southampton County of Virginia where several Slaves and White Americans lost their lives after a militia quelled the rebellion. Dred Scott sued for his freedom in Missouri in the Supreme Court in 1857 but the Courts ruled own that the Federal government had no authority to end slavery. John Brown recruited slaves that raided Harpers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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