Age of Philosophy

The intellectual movement during the 17th and 18th century called the Enlightenment was when philosophical ideas dominated Europe. Many of these ideas are still referred to today and helped shape the way we think. One of these three brilliant thinkers, John Locke was an English philosopher, author, physician, and Father of Liberalism. He believed the people should have power and the government’s power be limited. At the time, there was an absolute monarch, or a ruler with total control and without guidance or restraints. Another revolutionary thinker, Adam Smith, a scottish economist, author, and philosopher.

He believed in a free market or unrestricted economy without government interference. These ideas were not limited to how the government or economy should be run but also included the social aspect of society. Mary Wollstonecraft, an English writer, advocate, and philosopher believed in gender equality.

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She knew if given the same opportunities as men, women could succeed. These ideas were few of the many ways they believed they could improve everyone’s way of life. The father of liberalism, John Locke, believed in a government by the people, for the people, that was nothing without the people, he also believed in equality among men. In “Of the State of Nature”, Locke states, “There [is] nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank… should also be equal amongst another without subordination or subjection.

” He expresses his belief that all men are created equal, an idea stated in our Declaration of Independence. In the second passage, “Of the Dissolution of Government”, Locke declares “they have not only a right to get out of [a failed government], but to prevent it.” He asserts the people had the right to strive under minimum government interference and mentions that if the government were to fail the people or in order to prevent such things, they could change the system/ impeach those in power.


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