The property. Jefferson drew from that idea
The end of “The Age of Reason”The end of “The Age of Reason”In the late 18th century, America was coming to a standstill in religious belief, by the 1790’s an estimated 10% of the non-Indian population of America were members of a formal church.
Before and after the American Revolution, works of literature like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”, and Benjamin Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth” began to form a national train of thought among the early Americans. These views were somewhat opposite of those which were introduced through Puritanism and The Enlightenment during the seventeenth century. However, in the end traditional religion overcame the pressure that was applied by the new schools of thought that floated around in the late 18th century.Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” was more than just a piece of literature than planted the seed for deism, it also helped inspire a nation to revolt against England, and claim independence from a government which was deemed unfair and unfit to control the colonies. In “Common Sense” Paine led the people to believe that the Americans could not reconcile with England. He aim was to turn the American anger away from the small parliamentary issues they were resisting against, and onto what he considered the main problem, which was the English Constitution itself. Paine argued that it was simple common sense’ for Americans to break completely with a government that could produce such a corrupt a ruler as George III.
In closing his writing Paine argues “And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.” With Paine making this remark, I translate Paine to mean that the island kingdom of England was no more fit to rule the American Continent, than a satellite was fit to rule the sun.This pamphlet was released in January 1776, at that point in time the colonies were nothing more than miniature countries existing next to each other. As the news of the pamphlet spread during that year, a strong sense of national unity and the need for independence from the English began to form in the people’s minds.Later that same year, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, with help from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Jefferson used ideas borrowed from theories by John Locke; for example, governments are created to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. Jefferson drew from that idea and penned the theory that is still a major principle of the American people in the U.
S till this day, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Jefferson also penned the theory that he added to the Declaration which is known as the “all men are created equal” clause. Multiple relevant scientific discoveries were made around the late 18th century. Many intellectuals, philosophers, and well-read men of the land began to develop what they believed to be “rational” theologies that reflected modern, scientific attitudes. Their discoveries led to them de-emphasize the role or power of God in the world.Some American leaders embraced this train of thought, called deism, the most famous being Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Deists, as they were called, accepted the existence of God, but considered Him a remote being who, after having created the universe, had withdrawn from direct involvement with the human race and its sins. Many books and articles attacking religious “superstitions” attracted wide readerships and provoked much discussion. The most popular of the articles was Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason”, which was published in parts between 1794 and 1796. Paine once declared that Christianity was the “strangest religion ever set-up,” for “it committed a murder upon Jesus in order to redeem mankind from the sin of eating an apple.”Some Americans believed that the spread of traditional, evangelistic religion in the new nation, but this was not the reality of what was going on.
The truth was that most Americans still continued to hold strong religious beliefs, what had declined was their commitment to organized churches and denominations, which many considered too formal and traditional for their own zealous faith. The reality was that Deism, Universalism, Unitarianism, and other “rational” religions seemed more power than they actually were because for a time traditional evangelists were confused and disorganized. However starting 1801 traditional religion staged a dramatic religion in a form of a wave revivalism known as the Second Great Awakening, or the revolution.