The Renaissance and the Colonies

May 14th, 2015
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This essay describes how enlightenment ideas influenced the development of the colonies during the colonial period.

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Rocio HinojosaDr. Duren Historical Problems #35/14/2009 The Enlightenment in Europe gave rise to the Enlightenment in colonial America. This movement only directly affects 5-15% of the population1. The people who were most affected by this movement lived in urban areas, were wealthy, educated and male. The enlightenment was a movement that encouraged reason, science, and progress. While this movement did go outside the bounds of the churchs' teachings it in no way denounced god, as many in the church said it did. This movement, however, focused on the individual. The enlightenment challenged the role of religion and divine right and it helped colonial Americans see that it was possible to challenge the king and divine right2. People began to question the authority of the church. The ideas that were centered in this movement were individualism, rationalism, and humanism. Individualism means that all individuals are free, which is an idea that rejected predestination. Rationalism means perception through the senses or how you determine what is truth. Humanism is concerned with human existence. The enlightenment was responsible for reviving an interest in education not just in science but also in literature. This movement emphasized human power of reason as to promote progress. People began to challenge the role of god and helped them see that they were important and that they could shape their own lives. The First Great Awakening was a sort of religio

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