HUMANITIES_5 - The Shaping of the Modern World: The Ages of...

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Ideological background The “Age of Enlightenment” of the 18th century, besides development in sciences also witnessed efforts to discover the laws that govern the human beings and societies. The criticism of the existing institutions aimed to promote freedom and happiness as a natural right of the humanity. According to John Locke, people come together in a “social contract” and create, through common consent, a government (the state) to protect rights of life, liberty and property of the individuals. If any government fails to protect these natural rights or prevents the exercise of these rights, the people have a right to revolt and establish the will of the people. The well-known rule is generally the following: “The Nation is essentially the source of all sovereignty; and no other person or body is entitled to any authority, which is not expressly derived from it”. The above principle found its expression among others in the works of American philosopher Thomas Paine (1737-1809) (Reading 1) , in The American Declaration of Independence (1776), The American Constitution (1787) and the French “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” (1789). Since then many constitutions as well as the Turkish Constitutions of 1961 and 1982 define their concepts of “sovereignty” in a similar way. (Box in the reading) The American Revolution In the “New World” the ideas of enlightenment of the “Old World” had also began to influence a group of intellectuals. Moreover, these thinkers of America were the first to put the enlightenment ideas into practice and realize the first revolution based on the “sovereignty of people”. The British, dominating North America, in 1763 added Canada into its domains through a war
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HUMANITIES_5 - The Shaping of the Modern World: The Ages of...

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