Across the Atlantic - AcrosstheAtlantic, .Thecolonialcityof...

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Across the Atlantic, the Enlightenment had a profound impact on the English colonies in  America and ultimately on the infant nation of the United States. The colonial city of  Philadelphia emerged as a chic, intellectual hub of American life, strongly influenced by  European thought. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was the consummate philosophe: a  brilliant diplomat, journalist, and scientist who traveled back and forth between Europe  and America, acting as a conduit of ideas between them. He played a pivotal role in the  American Revolution, which began in 1775, and the subsequent establishment of a  democratic government under the Thomas Jefferson–penned Declaration of  Independence (1776). The political writer Thomas Paine (1737–1809) also brought Enlightenment ideas to bear  on the American Revolution. An Englishman who immigrated to America, Paine was 
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