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Encyclopedia > American Enlightenment

The American Enlightenment is a term sometimes employed to describe the intellectual culture of the British North American colonies and the early United States (as they became following the American Revolution). Among the leading intellectual figures of this period are Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.


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Age of Enlightenment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4465 words)
Thus The Enlightenment extolled the ideals of liberty, property and rationality which are still recognizable as the basis for most political philosophies even in the present era; that is, of a free individual being mostly free within the dominion of the state whose role is to provide stability to those natural laws.
The Enlightenment was a time when the solar system was truly "discovered": with the accurate calculation of orbits, such as Halley's comet, the discovery of the first planet since antiquity, Uranus by William Herschel, and the calculation of the mass of the Sun using Newton's theory of universal gravitation.
Alternatively, the Enlightenment was used as a powerful symbol to argue for the supremacy of rationalism and rationalization, and therefore any attack on it is connected to despotism and madness, for example in the writings of Gertrude Himmelfarb and Robert Nozick.
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