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Word Count: 2,453
The ideas of the Enlightenment became popular during the American and French Revolutions These main ideas of the Enlightenment philosophers were that every natural phenomenon had a cause and effect They felt that truth is arrived at by reason and there is a natural law that governs the universe In America in the mid 18th Century the consciousness of the colonists were triggered They realized their distance from the King in Great Britain and rethought their loyalties They felt that the king did not have a right to profit off the land they worked on Money was a central factor in rebellion Because the British protected the colonists in the French Indian War and the crown spent manpower and money to protect the colonies they felt that the colonists must repay the debt Therefore they enforced the Stamp Act which taxed documents and newspapers The colonists felt that taxation should be the job of a local government and not of one overseas Later the British enforced the Declaratory Act which emphasized the British right to tax the colonies and further taxed import and exports This infuriated the colonists who boycotted goods coming to America This is the beginning of the American Revolution Soon after the First Continental Congress was formed and on July 4th 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress signed the Declaration of independence Finally in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris the United States was legally given independence In 18th Century France the system of aristocratic privilege and serfdom dominated politics and society The Church received tithes and paid no taxes The nobility was exempt from most taxes collected dues from the peasantry and held virtually every government office simply because they were born into the right families The rapidly growing middle class or bourgeois and peasantry paid all the taxes and had no political power and little social influence These inequalities were based on tradition and more significantly by the force
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