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use at least 3 peer review sources and one source has to be from the textbook chapter.

You will keep notes about the course content in your Blackboard journal. To give flexibility regarding your interests, you can choose the course weeks you will add notes to the journal.

Try to answer the following questions in each of your journal entries:

  • What interested you the most in the week?s course content? Why?
  • What about the concepts discussed this week? (use the syllabus, course schedule, to see each week’s concepts). Did they help you understand the historical process better, or not? How come? Comment on at least one concept and related event/process discussed in the textbook or lectures.
  • What event, concept, or historical process remained unclear to you? Why?
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22

Atlantic Revolutions and the
World 1750?1830

801

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The Promise of Enlightenment
FOCUS What were the major ideas of the
Enlightenment and their impacts?

Revolution in North America
FOCUS What factors lay behind the war
between North American colonists and Great
Britain?

The French Revolution and the
Napoleonic Empire

FOCUS What changes emerged from the
French Revolution and Napoleon?s reign?

Revolution Continued in the Western
Hemisphere

FOCUS What were the motives and methods
of revolutionaries in the Caribbean and Latin
America?

COUNTERPOINT: Religious Revival in a
Secular Age

FOCUS What trends in Enlightenment and
revolutionary society did religious revival
challenge?

backstory
Rising global trade and maturing slave systems
brought wealth to merchants and landowners
in many parts of the world during the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries. Emboldened
by this newfound wealth, they joined bureau-
crats and aristocrats in the struggle for more
influence, not only in the great land-based
empires such as the Qing, Mughal, and
Ottoman states but also in some of the small
states of Europe. Except for Spain, these small
European states had developed overseas
coastal trading posts, which after several
centuries they hoped to exploit more efficiently
and turn into true empires. They had also built
their military capability and gained adminis-
trative experience as they fought one another
for greater global influence. Maintaining this
influence was costly, however. Simultaneously
the Scientific Revolution (see Chapter 19)
and the beginnings of a movement to think
more rationally about government were
causing some critics in Europe to question the
traditional political and social order.

World in the Making Sim?n Bol?var, the
?Liberator,? traveled the Atlantic world, gaining
inspiration from the Enlightenment and
revolutionary events. On his return to South
A merica, he helped spearhead the movement for
independence there. No democrat, Bolivar learned
from hard experience that success demanded support
from South A merica?s rich variety of slaves and other
workers.

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Sim?n Bol?var (1783?1830) began life as the privileged son of a family that in the
sixteenth century had settled in Caracas, a city in Spanish-controlled South America.
His early years were full of personal loss: his father died when he was three, his
mother when he was five, and his grandfather, who cared for him after his mother?s
death, when he was six. Bol?var?s extended family sent him to military school and
then to Spain to study?typical training for prominent ?creoles,? as South Americans
of European descent were called. Following the death of his young wife, the
grieving Bol?var traveled to Paris, where his life changed: he saw the military hero
Napoleon crown himself emperor in 1804 and witnessed crowds fill the streets of
the capital with joy. ?That moment, I tell you, made me think of the slavery of my
country and of the glory that would come to the person who liberated it,? he later
wrote.1 After a visit to the newly independent United States, Bol?var returned to
Caracas in 1807, determined to free his homeland from the oppressions of Spanish
rule. He, too, took up arms, leading military campaigns, which along with popular
uprisings eventually ousted Spain?s government from much of Latin America. For
his revolutionary leadership, contemporaries gave him the title ?Liberator.?

The creation of independent states in Latin America was part of a powerful
upheaval in the Atlantic world. North American colonists successfully fought a war
of independence against Britain in 1776. The French rose up in 1789 against a mon-
archy that had bankrupted itself, ironically in part by giving military support to the
American rebels. In 1791 a massive slave revolt erupted in the prosperous French
sugar colony of Saint-Domingue, leading to the creation of the independent state of
Haiti. The independence of Latin American states was globally inspirational. The
English poet Lord Byron named his yacht Bolivar and in the 1820s went off to liber-
ate Greece from the Ottomans.

These upheavals were connected with a transformation of thought and everyday life
in the West called ?the Enlightenment.? Traders in Asia, Africa, and the Americas
had brought ideas and goods to Europe. The arrival of new products such as sugar,
coffee, and cotton textiles freed many Europeans? lives from their former limits, and
this newfound abundance led to new thinking. Both ordinary people and the upper
classes proposed changing society. Ideas from Enlightenment thinkers and global
contact affected North American politicians, Caribbean activists, and creole re-
formers like Sim?n Bol?var, transforming them into revolutionaries. The impulse for
change extended beyond the Atlantic world. In Ottoman-controlled Egypt, French
revolutionary forces under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded, claiming
to bring new political ideas of liberty. A determined leader, Muhammad Ali, helped
drive out the French and then promoted reform himself. Thus, global connections

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of different kinds played a key role in creating the conditions that sparked the devel-
opment of new ideas and in providing pathways for the spread of those ideas.

By 1830, when the revolutionary tide in Latin America ended, the map of the world
had changed, but that change came at a great cost. Alongside the birth of new
nations and a growing belief in political reform, there had been widespread hardship
and destruction. Soldiers died by the hundreds of thousands; civilians also perished
because political and social change set them against one another. The breakdown of
established kingdoms was the work of the warriors, the masses, and determined lead-
ers, but this age of revolution crushed many. Napoleon Bonaparte was condemned
to exile, and even so privileged a revolutionary as Bol?var died of utter exhaustion in
1830 just as the new nations of Latin America began their independent existence.

OVERVIEW QUESTIONS

The major global development in this chapter: The Atlantic revolutions and
their short- and long-term significance.

As you read, consider:

1. What role did the

Scientific Revolution

and expanding global

contacts play in the

cultural and social

movement known as the

Enlightenment?

2. Why did prosperous

and poor people alike

join revolutions in the

Americas and in France?

3. Why were the Atlantic

revolutions so influential,

even to the present day?

The Promise of Enlightenment

FOCUS What were the major ideas of the enlightenment and
their impacts?

Europeans in the eighteenth century had a great deal to think about. The scien-
tific revolution had challenged traditional views of nature and offered a new meth-
odology for uncovering nature?s laws. Reports from around the world on foreign
customs, ways of conducting government, alternative techniques in agriculture,

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and trade practices fueled discussion worldwide but especially among Europeans.
Moreover, participation in this intellectual ferment was not limited to the politi-
cal and social elite. As literacy, already advanced in Chinese and Japanese cities,
spread in Europe, ever more people were caught up in the debate over social, po-
litical, and economic change. These wide-ranging reconsiderations are collectively
called the Enlightenment.

A New World of Ideas
Some Enlightenment writers hammered away at the abuses of monarchies and
proposed representative rule based on the consent of the governed?a proposal that
later became the foundation of many states. The will of a monarch is not the best
basis for government, English philosopher John Locke wrote late in the seventeenth
century. Rather, he maintained, governments should be established rationally, by
mutual consent of the governed. The idea of compact or contract government grew
from Locke?s philosophy that people were born free, equal, and rational, and that
natural rights, including personal freedoms, were basic to all humans. In Locke?s
view, governments were formed when people made the rational choice to give up
a measure of freedom and create institutions that could guarantee natural rights
and protect everyone?s property. If a government failed to fulfill these purposes, the
people had the right to replace it. Locke?s ideas justified the situation in seventeenth-
century England, where citizens and the Parliament had twice ousted their king.

In contrast to Locke, French writers Voltaire and Baron Louis Montesquieu
criticized their own society?s religious and political abuses by referring to prac-
tices in China and elsewhere beyond Europe. They set their widely read writings in
faraway lands or used wise foreigners to show Europe?s backwardness. A wealthy
trained jurist, Montesquieu in The Persian Letters (1721) featured a Persian ruler
visiting Europe and writing back home of the strange goings-on. The continent was
full of magicians, Montesquieu?s hero reports, such as those who could turn wine
and wafers into flesh?a mocking reference to the Christian sacrament of commu-
nion. Voltaire, a successful author thrown several times into jail for insulting the
authorities, portrayed worthy young men cruelly treated by priests and kings in
his rollicking novels Zadig (1747) and Candide (1759). Voltaire asked for a society
based on merit, not on aristocracy of birth: ?There is nothing in Asia that resembles
the European nobility: nowhere in the Orient does one find an order of citizens
distinct from all the rest . . . solely by their birth.?2 Voltaire did not have the story
quite right, but other Enlightenment thinkers joined his call for reason, hard work,
and opportunity in both economic life and politics.

Swiss-born Jean-Jacques Rousseau took up the theme of freedom and opportu-
nity in many influential writings. In The Social Contract (1762) he claimed that ?man

contract government?
A political theory that
views government
as stemming from
the people, who
agree to surrender a
measure of personal
freedom in return for
a government that
guarantees protection
of citizens? rights and
property.

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is born free,? but because of despotic government ?he is every where in chains.?
As for the process of shaping the modern citizen, Rousseau?s best-selling novel
Emile (1762) describes the ways in which a young boy is educated to develop many
practical skills. Instead of learning through rote memory, as was common, Emile
masters such skills as carpentry and medicine by actually working at them, and he
spends much time outdoors, getting in touch with nature by living away from cor-
rupt civilization. Like China?s Kangxi emperor (the fourth of the Qing dynasty),
whom Enlightenment thinkers held up as a model, Emile becomes a polymath?
that is, someone with a knowledge of many subjects and numerous skills, especially
those that could earn him a livelihood. Emile thus becomes a responsible citizen
who can fend for himself following natural laws, not despotically imposed ones.

Enlightenment thinkers also rethought the economy. In 1776, Scottish philoso-
pher Adam Smith published one of the most influential Enlightenment documents,
On the Wealth of Nations. Citing China as an important example throughout,
Smith proposed to free the economy from government monopolies and mercan-
tilist regulations. This idea of laissez faire (French for ?let alone?) became part
of the theory called liberalism, which endorsed economic and personal freedom
guaranteed by the rule of law. Smith saw trade as benefiting an individual?s charac-
ter because it required cooperation with others in the process of exchanging goods.
The virtues created by trade were more desirable than the military swaggering and
confrontation of aristocratic lives, and he continually stressed that alongside in-
dividualism there needed to be concern for the well-being of the community as
a whole. Slavery, he argued, was inefficient and ought to be done away with. Still
other Enlightenment writers said that a middle-class way of life promoted sensibil-
ity, love of family, thrift, and hard work?again, in stark contrast to the promiscu-
ous and spendthrift habits these reformers saw in the nobility.

Enlightenment thinkers explicitly drew on the knowledge acquired through
global economic connections. Such connections also made it possible for Enlight-
enment ideas to spread around the world. Some Japanese thinkers and officials
wanted to learn about recent Western breakthroughs in practical subjects as well
as scientific practices based on rational observation and deduction. Chinese schol-
ars, though not directly influenced by Enlightenment thought, were reflecting on
issues of good government and the capacities of the individual within the impe-
rial system. Future nation builders in the North American colonies?Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson?were steeped in both the practical
and political sides of the Enlightenment, running businesses, designing buildings,
conducting scientific experiments, and writing political documents.

Enlightenment thought reached many in Western society?high and low, male
and female. Population growth in cities such as Paris opened neighborhoods and

laissez faire?
A n economic doctrine
that advocates
freeing economies
from government
intervention and
control.

liberalism?
A political ideology
that emphasizes free
trade, individual
rights, and the rule
of law to protect
rights as the best
means for promoting
social and economic
improvement.

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work life, allowing new ideas to flourish. Women of the wealthier classes conducted
salons?that is, meetings in their homes devoted to discussing the latest books and
findings. German Jewish women, often kept at a distance from Christians, made a
name for themselves by forming such groups. Along with coffeehouses in European
and colonial cities, modeled on those in the Ottoman Empire, salons created a public
sphere in which people could meet outside court circles to talk about current affairs.
Together with the new public libraries, reading groups, and scientific clubs that
dotted the Atlantic world, they built new community bonds and laid the groundwork
for responsible citizenship. Instead of a monarchical government single-handedly
determining thought and policy, ordinary people in Europe and its colonies, relying
on knowledge gained from public discussion, could express their opinions on the
course of events and thereby undermine government censorship.

public sphere?
A cultural and political
environment that
emerged during the
Enlightenment, where
members of society
gathered to discuss
issues of the day.

Eighteenth-Century English Drawing Room W hen drinking their tea imported from Asia, middle- and upper-
class Europeans aimed for elegance, inspired by Asian tea rituals. They used porcelain, whose production European
manufacturers had recently figured out, and wore sparkling white muslin, probably imported from India, which produced
high-quality cloth that Europeans valued above cotton from anywhere else.

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The ideals of the Enlightenment were well represented in the Encyclopedia
(1751?1772) of France?s Denis Diderot. This celebrated work contained dozens
of technical drawings of practical machinery that could advance prosperity. The
Encyclopedia described the freedoms and rights nature endowed on all people, not just
aristocrats. Like Rousseau, Diderot maintained that in a natural state all people were
born free and equal. French writer Olympe de Gouges further proposed that there was
no difference among people of different skin colors. ?How are the Whites different from
[the Black] race? . . . Why do blonds not claim superiority over brunettes?? she asked in
her ?Reflections on Negroes? (1788). ?Like all the different types of animals, plants,
and minerals that nature has produced, people?s color also varies.?3 Essayists in the
Encyclopedia added that women too were born free and endowed with natural rights.

Many of the working people of Europe?s growing towns and cities responded en-
thusiastically to the ideas set forth by Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire
and Rousseau. The French glassworker Jacques M?n?tra, for example, acquired
and also distributed these new antireligious and egalitarian ideas as he moved from
city to town and village, installing glass windows. With some religious schooling
and then an apprenticeship in his trade, M?n?tra, like his fellow journeymen arti-
sans, led this kind of mobile life as a young man before establishing his own shop
in Paris. During his travels, he provided news of the Parisian thinkers to artisans
along his route. Young journeymen like M?n?tra helped make the Enlightenment
an affair not only of the well-born but also of many average people.

Enlightenment and the Old Order
Despite its critique of monarchs, church officials, and the aristocracy, ?Enlighten-
ment? was a watchword of some of Europe?s most powerful rulers. ?Enlightened?
rulers came to sense that more rational government could actually strengthen their
regimes, for example by increasing governmental efficiency and tax revenues. In-
stead of touting his divine legacy, Prussian king Frederick the Great (r. 1740?1786)
called a ruler someone who would ?work efficiently for the good of the state? rather
than ?live in lazy luxury, enriching himself by the labor of the people.?4 A musician
and poet, Frederick studied several languages, collected Chinese porcelain, and
advocated toleration. For him, Enlightenment made monarchs stronger. Spread-
ing to Russia, the Enlightenment moved Catherine the Great (r. 1762?1796) to
sponsor the writing of a dictionary of the Russian language, to correspond with
learned thinkers such as Diderot, and to work to improve the education of girls.
Additionally, Catherine?s goal was to put a stop to aristocrats? ?idle time spent in
luxury and other vices corrupting to the morals,? as she put it, and instead trans-
form the nobility into active and informed administrators of her far-flung empire
and its diverse peoples (see Seeing the Past: Portrait of Catherine the Great).5

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SEEING THE PAST

Portrait of Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great was a monarch of towering

ability and ambition. Although her regime was

known for smashing peasant uprisings and territo-

rial conquests, it also promoted the arts and knowl-

edge. Catherine commissioned the first dictionary

of the Russian language and communicated with

the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment. While

sponsoring education, she tried to reform her

government to increase its power. In this regard,

Enlightenment was not just about the fine arts but

also about generally raising the economic and po-

litical profile of the monarchy through rationally de-

vised policies.

Enlightenment thinkers often referred to the

excellent customs and the rational policies of non-

Western monarchs of their day?especially those

in China?but also prized classical Greece and

Rome for their democratic and republican forms

of government. For this image, a skilled Parisian

craftsperson of the 1760s chose Minerva?Roman

goddess of both war and wisdom?as the figure

closest to the celebrated Catherine. The luxurious

detail on this round box assures us that it was

destined for an aristocratic palace, perhaps that of

the monarch herself.

Examining the Evidence

1. W hat does this depiction of the empress as Minerva tell you about the society over which Catherine ruled?

2. How does this image of leadership compare with others you have seen, including those of U.S. presidents?
How do you account for the differences? For the similarities?

Catherine the Great as the Roman Goddess Minerva
(Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens;
Photo by Ed Owen.)

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The Spanish monarchy in the eighteenth century likewise instituted a series of
policy changes called the Bourbon Reforms, named after the ruling ?Bourbon?
family of monarchs. They aimed to make the monarchy financially sound by
taxing the colonies more efficiently. Spain?s rulers also attempted to limit the
church?s independence. Often opposing slavery and promoting better treatment of
native peoples, the Jesuit order, for instance, had many followers in Spain?s ?New
World? empire. Thus the order was an alternate source of allegiance: the monarchy
outlawed it.

Leaders of the Spanish colonies adopted many Enlightenment ideas, including
scientific farming and improvements in mining?subjects dear to forward-looking
thinkers who read the Encyclopedia. In Mexico, reformers saw the education of
each woman as central to building responsible government. As one journalist put
it, under a mother?s care the young citizen ?grows, is nourished, and acquires his
first notions of Good and Evil. [Therefore] women have even more reason to be
enlightened than men.?6 In this view, motherhood was not a simple biological act
but a livelihood critical to a strong national life.

European prosperity depended on the productivity of slaves in the colonies,
and wealthy slave owners used Enlightenment fascination with nature to
devise scientific explanations justifying the oppressive system. Though many
Enlightenment thinkers such as Olympe de Gouges wanted equality for ?noble
savages,? in slave owners? minds A fricans were by nature inferior and thus
rightly subject to exploitation. Scientists captured A fricans for study and judged
racial inferiority to be a ?scientific fact.? Others justified race-based slavery in
terms of character: blacks were, one British observer explained, ?conceited,
proud, indolent and very artful? in contrast to the egalitarian and hard-working
European.7 Thus, some strands of Enlightenment thought helped buyers and
sellers of A fricans and native Americans argue that slavery was useful and rational,
especially because slaves could produce wealth and help society as a whole
make progress.

Popular Revolts in an Age of Enlightenment
Popular uprisings in many parts of the world, including in slave societies, showed
the need for improved government. In Russia, people throughout society came
to protest serfdom?s irrationality and unfairness. In 1773 the discontent of many
serfs crystallized around Emel?ian Ivanovich Pugachev, once an officer in the
Russian army, who claimed to be Peter III, the dead husband of Catherine. Tens
of thousands of peasants, joined by rebellious workers, serf soldiers in Catherine?s
overworked armies, and Muslim minorities rose up, calling for the restoration of

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Pugachev, alias Peter, to the throne. Promised great riches for
their support, serfs plundered noble estates and killed aristocrats.
They justified revolt in slogans and songs: ?O woe to us slaves
living for the masters. . . . how shameful and insulting / That an-
other who is not worthy to be equal with us / Has so many of us
in his power.?8 The rebellion was put down only with difficulty.
Once Catherine?s forces captured Pugachev, they cut off his arms
and legs, then his head, and finally hacked his body to pieces?
just punishment, nobles believed, for the crimes of this ?monster?
against the monarchy and upper classes.

Uprisings among the urban poor, farmworkers, and slaves also
occurred in the Caribbean and other parts of the Western Hemi-
sphere. Slaves fled their masters to Maroon communities far from
plantations. Native peoples in Latin America protested harsh con-
ditions, which only grew worse with Spain?s demand for more rev-
enue. Some envisioned the complete expulsion of the Spaniards
or the overthrow of the wealthy creoles, who owned estates and
plantations. Between 1742 and 1783, several different groups in
Peru attempted to restore Inca power and end the tax burden in-

flicted by the Bourbon Reforms. Backed by his determined, talented wife Michaela
Bastida, charismatic trader and wealthy landowner Tupac Amaru II (TOO-pack
a-MAH-roo), an indigenous leader who took his name from the Inca leader of the
late sixteenth century, led tens of thousands against corrupt government. Eventually
captured by Spanish authorities, Tupac Amaru II had his tongue cut out, was drawn
and quartered by four horses, and finally was beheaded?after first watching the ex-
ecution of his family. Rebellions continued amid the complexities of Enlightenment.

Revolution in North America

FOCUS What factors lay behind the war between north
American colonists and Great Britain?

The Atlantic world was part of a global trading network. A Boston newspaper in the
1720s advertised the sale of Moroccan leather, Indian chintz and muslin fabrics,
South American mahogany, and Asian tea. The global livelihoods of merchants,
fishermen, and sailors enabled the British colonies to grow prosperous and cosmo-
politan, engaged in all facets of Enlightenment and commercial growth.

0

0 200 Kilometers

200 Miles

Black
Sea

C
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ain Sea

Moscow

Pugachev Uprising
in Russia, 1773

Area of rebellion
Pugachev’s route

Ural R
.Vo

lga
R.

Don R.

RUSSIAN EMPIRE

Pugachev Uprising in Russia, 1773

Revo l u t i o n i n N o r t h A m e r i c a 811

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The British Empire and the Colonial Crisis 1764?1775
In the eighteenth century European states waged increasingly costly wars to boost
global power. The expense of the Seven Years? War of 1756?1763 was enormous
as Europeans also fought to gain influence in South Asia, the Philippines, the
Caribbean, and North America. Ultimately beating both the French and the
Spanish, Britain received all of French Canada and Florida at the end of the war
(see Map 22.1). It wanted higher colonial taxation to recoup its expenses and pay
the costs of administering its empire.

In 1764 the British Parliament raised taxes on molasses with the Sugar Act, on
printed material and legal documents with the Stamp Act (1765), and on useful
commodities such as paper, glass, and paint with the Townshend Acts (1767)?all
of them important to colonists? everyday lives. Tapping England?s own history of
revolution and the new political theories, colonial activists protested, insisting that
if they were going to be taxed, they needed direct representation in the English
Parliament. This argument followed Locke?s theory of the social contract: a gov-
ernment where citizens were not represented had no right to take their property in
taxes. With a literacy rate of 70 percent among men and 40 percent among women
in the North American colonies, new ideas about government and reports of Brit-
ish misdeeds spread easily.

The Birth of the United States 1775?1789
W hen yet another ta x was placed on prized imported tea, a group of Bostonians,
disguised as native A mericans, dumped a load of tea into the harbor in Decem-
ber 1773. The British government responded to the ?Boston Tea Party? by clos-
ing the seaport?s thriving harbor. As tensions escalated, colonial representatives
gathered for an all-colony Continental Congress that resulted in a coordinated
boycott of British goods. In April 1775 artisans and farmers in Lex ington and
Concord fought British troops sent to confiscate a stockpile of ammunition from
rebellious colonists. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress issued its ?Decla-
ration of Independence,? a short, dramatic document written largely by Thomas
Jefferson that aimed?like the Enlightenment itself?to convert its readers to
the side of reason in matters of government. The Declaration argued that the
monarchy was tyrannical and had forfeited its right to rule. It went on to artic-
ulate an Enlightenment doctrine of rights?the famous rights of ? life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.? Some of the rebel colonists likened themselves to
?slaves? lack ing individual freedom, drawing a parallel?even though some of
them, including Thomas Jefferson, were slave owners?with slave rebels across
the Western world.

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Lexington/Concord
1775

Yorktown
1781

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1780

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1777

Germantown
1777

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Quebec

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NOVA SCOTIA

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(MASS.)

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