The war between England and its colonies takes root in the late 1600’s and early 1700 because of a movement that started in Europe and found its way to the colonies. This movement known as the Age of Enlightenment, which people became masters of their own domains and not controlled by a higher authority. I believe this new way of thinking began the process of what we know today as the United States of America. Colonists began to question the authority of the monarchs and parliament in England, and began the process of free and independent thinking.
Enlightenment was individual thinkers in Europe that began a radical thought process that questioned social organization. One of these thinkers, John Locke, applied scientific reasoning to that of philosophical thought in his writings the First Treatise and the Second Treatise. Thomas Jefferson was a follower of John Locke’s writings and went on to say the he was “one of the greatest men that have ever lived”. (Faulkner, par. 4).
When individuals began colonizing North America, they were seeking religious freedom from England as well as wealth. As the colonies grew, so did the thought of freethinking. Many of the major cities already had newspapers, whose reach was now beyond publishing religious propaganda. The press was now publishing the writings of Locke and other philosophers at the time. (Bailyn, pg. 27). In publishing these works, they also allowed for opposing views and more people began to think independently.
Coinciding with the creation of a public school and higher education system, children and young adults in the new world became the foundation of American Thinkers. Some of the most famous of these thinkers were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
One of the first changes this new way of thinking was the revitalization of religious beliefs. Known as the Great Awakening religious beliefs broke into two groups, Old Light and New Light, with membership based on the individual views of religion. The more radical of these two groups were those who fell under “New Light”. The New Light revival believed that a change of social order was justified to abandon the current order of Church authority. (Gloege, pg. 128) This then set...