The US Declaration of Independence, a document that was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and that announced the separation of 13 North American British colonies from Great Britain, was created by men who were mostly influenced by the movement, The Enlightenment. The American Declaration of Independence was directly and very greatly influenced by John Locke's work from the Age of Enlightenment.

Viewing the Enlightenment, it was a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries, emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. It was heavily influenced by 17th-century philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, and Newton. Its prominent exponents include Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith. The ideas of the Enlightenment and men such as Locke helped lead men like Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Ideas which formed the Enlightenment (Age of Reason) helped give Americans the idea that they should become a completely independent nation. Beliefs about human independence and men living within a free society are found in the Enlightenment. These astute ideas formed the main philosophical basis for America's claim that it needed to have, couldn't exist without, total autonomy.

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