Enlightenment Thinking

Enlightenment Thinking
Declaration of Independence


Declaration of the Rights of Man

Questions for consideration:
1. What are these two primary sources about? What statements are they making about natural rights and government?
2. Howdotheycomplementeachother?Differfromeachother?
3. WhichbetterreflectstheidealsoftheEnlightenment? Why?
4. Do you agree or disagree with Americas methods and/or imperial aspirations?
5. Have these ideas had a lasting impact? If yes,how? If no, why not?

You may also select your own sources and create a set of questions, but please submit both to me before the assignment. Your paper should introduce the documents and explain their historical context (who wrote them, when, where, and why); it should briefly summarize the content of the documents (not more than 25% of the paper); and it should analyze the documents importance in history. This means you need to demonstrate knowledge of the historical context of the documents, how they reflect that history, impact that history, and how these documents and the eventssurroundingthemimpactlaterevents. You might want to compare the documents to others that are similar, or you might analyze reactions to it in past and present.
Your paper should have a clear and unambiguous thesis. It does not have to be complex or brilliantly original, but it must unify the information presented in your paper. A good thesis usually makes an argument rather than simply stating the obvious (e.g., Olympe de Gouges Declaration of the Rights of Woman in 1791 was an early call for gender equality and womens political rights but most of Europe did not accept these ideas for another century, not This document was important for womens history).