During the Enlightenment, revolutionary thinkers called philosophers shared many new ideas, including how to more understand and improve the society they lived in. They all wanted society to thrive and they kept that in thought. Although each philosopher had their own ideas, they all focused around one main idea and that was equality and Independence. One very influential philosopher, John Locke was born in England in the mid 17th century and lived through the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution.
He mainly expressed that people are strong enough to do anything they want and can fight for themselves. He was big into the equality for all men. In his book the Second Treatise on Civil Government, it says that “creatures of the same species and rank should be equal amongst another without subordination”. In Locke’s book he expressed that all humans are subject to a moral law, This means that humans are held the same, And that they have natural rights they are born with. Locke proposed the rights as; life,liberty, and property.
(Document A) Voltaire is most known for his witty attacks toward the catholic church. He argued that if only two religions were allowed in a population it would surely create an amount of competition between the two groups of “religions” for power. But if all religions are tolerated, allowed, accepted and represented, then peace will be widespread and all of society including the government will function much more conveniently, therefore it will and would benefit all of the people. Everyone’s rights will be projected because all of the attention will not be on one or two groups of people but a large sum of groups.
This would also encourage people to think for themselves and would create religious equality for all.(Document B) Usually referred to as the Father of Modern Economics, Adam Smith was a great supporter for private markets. He greatly supported an economic system based on the making of decisions by individuals instead of the government.
He thought that no single person is eligible to make important decisions for a whole mass of people, He also thought the people are able to make decisions for their own welfare. In Smith’s mind, If people were to earn more money by working harder than most if not all people will work harder. Adams promoted the concept of supply and demand and self interest, basically if you are good at something that a large group of people are not so good at they will have a great demand for your services therefore you capitalize and make money.(Document C) Mary Wallstonecraft is known for her contributions to woman rights. According to her book ” a vindication of the rights of woman” She believed that woman should have the same opportunities and freedoms as men, she argued that they “must be allowed to find their virtue on knowledge” and that they are not able to if they are not educated the same way as men. Her main idea was for equality amongst men and woman, and was her main accomplish.
(Document D) To conclude, all of these enlightenment philosophers shared a common idea; although they might have had some different ideas about certain things it all ties back to the central idea regardless if it was freedom from the government or the need for equal rights for man and woman, they all wanted equality and independence.