Ideals of The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay

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Today’s core principles of American political thought were greatly influenced and shaped by our nation’s past. Just like people are shaped by their past experiences, so was our country. The focus of this paper will begin with the diversifying of our nation during the early colonial period and will end with the ratification of the Constitution after becoming an independent nation. I believe American political thought came from events such as the early colonial period, the Enlightenment, the Declaration of Independence, and finally, the Constitution.

The early colonial period (1607 – 1775) greatly affected American political thought because it was at this time period when our nation started introducing concepts such as private property and self-government. At the beginning of this period, people from Britain started moving to America to seek greater economic opportunities and religious freedom. And because of this increasing independence, caused settlers to start growing away from being “English” and becoming “American”. Furthermore, the assimilation of the British also reinforced the blending of other national groups and cultures, diversifying America.

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The Enlightenment period (1685 – 1815) was the birth of many philosophies later used in the American Revolution. The Enlightenment ideas were the main influence for American colonies to become their own nation. Many people contributed to the ideals born in this period and ultimately contributed to American political thought. Montesquieu introduced the idea of having strong laws and rules. Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced the idea of having a document about how the government should protect society and its citizens. John Locke introduced the idea of identity and selfhood. And Thomas Hobbes introduced the idea of how people come together agreeing to abide by common rules to protect themselves and others. Together, these philosophies were later adapted to our nation, and we still live by them today.

The Declaration of Independence (1776) was when America put into effect everything it had learned in the past. The Enlightenment ideals had a huge impact on America’s independence. And this ultimately led to America pushing for independence, having learned values and its identity from previous periods. America had a sense of pride in its diversity that came from the early colonial period and a sense of philosophy that came from the Enlightenment period.

And finally, the Constitution (1787) was the document that made America’s thirteen colonies a united nation called the United States of America. The Constitution helped shape America by establishing a national government, laws, and basic rights for its citizens. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights was implemented to avoid the government from gaining too much control like Britain in the early colonial era. The Constitution marked the beginning of a new era, one based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These are four very important periods and events that helped shape American political thought as we know it today, by diversifying our nation and by giving us philosophies to live by. Without these periods and events, America would not be what it is today.

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Ideals of The Declaration of Independence: Analytical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from
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