Discuss the following quotation: "Maybe in the end the American revolutionaries found themselves faced with the same problem as was to face the French twenty years later which was the impossibility of constructing a political order based on equality of rights without recasting an unequal social order." Although universal human rights were a key value among Enlightenment thinkers and society, this ideal failed to be achieved in the end. This proved to be one of the contradictions characteristic of Enlightenment theory and philosophy versus the actual practice of these ideals. Because the Canaille, or the “vulgar,” or to put in simply, the lower class populace of the 18 th century was views among elites as incapable of thinking rationally through reason, and because this majority of society was insulated by elites in order to prevent a majority mob of the populace on the elite thinkers, the Enlightenment of the 18 th centry was much more successful at putting barriers and divisions among society than it was at reaching
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