Equality During Enlightenment

1385 Words 6 Pages
Equality During and After the Enlightenment

During the late 17th and 18th century in Europe, the world watched the birth of the Enlightenment Era spread globally. The Enlightenment Era was a time of change and appearance of innovative philosophes such as John Locke, Adam Smith, and many more. The Enlightenment began when people started to believe in different things than the church and started to think for themselves. Popular Enlightenment ideals were equality, women's rights, people ruling themselves, and freedom of speech. The ideal that had the greatest impact on the Enlightenment was the idea of equality. The U.S Constitution, Declaration of the Rights of Man, and the Haitian Constitution of 1801 includes the ideal of equality.
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When the Constitution was being created, the United States had just declared its independence from Britain. The states were acting as independent countries not as a united nation. The people wanted to make sure that the government didn't have too much power while the government wanted to make sure they had just enough. The government felt that The Articles of Confederation needed to be ratified, so they created the U.S Constitution. The U.S Constitution's purpose is grant the citizens natural rights- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendment, it includes ideas of equality. In the thirteenth amendment, it says that slavery is abolished. In section I of the thirteenth amendment, it wrote that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Amendment XIII, Section I). Even though slavery was abolished in 1865 and the constitution was written in 1787, equal opportunity is still present. Similarly, amendment fourteen states that every has “equal protection of the law” (Amendment XIV, Section I). So, no matter what race, gender, or crime committed, you will be treated just as equal as someone else. Amendment fifteen goes on to say that “the right of …show more content…
After the American Revolution occured, France was in very deep debt because of their involvement in the Revolution and King Louis XVI spending. King Louis XVI thought if he taxed the poor heavily, France would escape debt. The third estate, who was being taxed, related and rioted. To help stop the revolts, a meeting was summoned and called all the estates to meet together. The Estate General was a meeting assembling the first, second, and third estates together. Even though the third estate made up 98% of France, they could still outvoted by the first and second estate. The third estate wanted to have equal representation and have their vote be counted by head not by status. The second and first estate refused to give up their privileges. Since the first and second estate disagreed with the third estate's request, they locked the third estate out of the Estate General meeting so their votes would no longer be counted. On June 17, the third estate people met together and organized the National Assembly. The National Assembly adopted The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In Article I in The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, it states that, “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good”. As well in Article VI, it proclaimed that, “..All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the

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