What Intellectual Movement Was The Largest Single Influence On The American Revolution?
The Enlightenment or Renaissance was the intellectual movement that had the largest single influence on the American Revolution.
This movement was first started in Europe (Florence, Italy) and then spread to America. The era of the Renaissance began in the 14th century and reached its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This intellectual movement significantly changed the polity, conventional social system, beliefs, and economic principles of Europe and America.
How Did Enlightenment or Renaissance Philosophers Inspire American Revolution?
In this era, some such new ideas were born, which almost razed the contemporary socio-political system. Political thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes entirely changed common people’s thinking about the power of government and the king.
In their writings, people learned that in a country, its people are the actual source of its power, not the government or the king. Those philosophers made people understand if common people want, they can overthrow the existing government from power.
Those great philosophers explained – people form governments to protect their life, liberty, and happiness from being destroyed. So, it is always the government’s primary duty to stay responsible for protecting people’s rights.
Instead of protecting, if the government attempts to destroy these rights, it becomes the people’s right to overthrow that government from power.
Events And American Revolution
During the colonial rule in the 13 colonies, the British government and king George III imposed some bad rules and regulations, which hampered colonists’ rights.
Especially in the years 1764, 1765, 1767, 1773, and 1774, the British Parliament imposed some ugly acts on American colonists.
Those acts blocked almost all the ways for colonists of enjoying their life, liberty, and happiness.
To counter the bad laws, till the end of 1774, with the First Continental Congress, American leaders started the first phase of the American Revolution.