`` The Tale Of Liberty `` Essay

1439 Words Jul 26th, 2015 6 Pages
Lumières Revolutions
“Give me Liberty, or Give me death!” cried out the British American colonists on the eve of their independence movement. Yet, the tale of liberty does not begin with the cannons sounding the American Revolution, instead, the story begins with a quill and ink pad in France. In particular, the idea of the social contract, where the power of kings rested solely on the social acceptance of the populace, inspired Americans to clamor for reform against the imposing British crown. Originating in the 1700s, the Enlightenment movement sought to produce a self-actualizing light to clear the darkness of past prejudices. Key thinkers, such as Rousseau, wrote critical ideas of liberty that sparked desires for change, especially in France. In 1789, the French Revolution broke out with the French Declaration to solidify the claims of tyranny against their king. Ironically, soon after the fall of Bourbon absolutism, where divine power granted the right for kings to rule, another tyranny arose in the form of a military dictatorship by Napoleon. Instead of shunning the power that Napoleon centralized, the people of France basked in his glorious reign stirring nationalism that grew because of the prestige and difficult trials that the Napoleonic Wars brought. Inspired by the French and American Revolutions and the promise of liberty through the Enlightenment, other colonies initiated revolts as well. In particular, Saint-Domingue’s overwhelming slave population craved the…

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