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Enlightenment ideas made a lot of changes in Europe. It was a period of thinking and the use of reason. Through the use of reason, Enlightenment thinkers, people and government were able to solve social, political and economic problems. John Locke, an English thinker and creator of the Social Contract Theory, had an influential thought about human nature and the role of government. Locke’s theory was used by Thomas Jefferson. The Social Contract relates to The Declaration of Independence, this document reflects the ideas of Locke and the Enlightenment. Locke advocated natural rights, rights that belong to all humans from birth. This natural right’s were; the right to life, liberty and property. He believed that government must protect natural rights. Locke had a radical idea about government. His idea was that government had an obligation to the people and the people had the right to overthrown government if they felt it was necessary. Colonists justified in rebelling against a tyrant who had broken the Social Contract. Since people had the right to rebel against an unjust ruler, The Declaration of Independence included a long list of George III’s abuses. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. This document was signed by all the leaders of each of the 13 colonies, including the Continental Congress. The purpose of this document was that the 13 colonies wanted to become independent and form their own government and rules. They wanted their liberty from Great Britain. One of the causes why they wanted to separate from Great Britain was, because of the rise of taxation over the 13 colonies. They got furious and went against them. Since then, they decided they wanted to be independent.
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