Discuss the ways in which Enlightenment ideas shaped the political, economic, or social institutions of the United States.

The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.

Unit 1 Discussion Board Assignment

The Era of the Enlightenment influenced nearly every aspect of modern American society. In America, Enlightenment ideas expressed by writers and leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson still shape modern political arrangements, social organization, and economic structures. The United States became a nation during the height of the Enlightenment, and it is manifestly an expression of Enlightenment ideas concerning government, society, and economy. These ideas influenced the development of the American Revolution and eventually sparked the War for Independence. From the Declaration of Independence, drafted in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson, some of the ideals of the Enlightenment are expressed in the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This eventually led to the founding of the United States as a nation with its power vested in the Constitution of the United States.

Use the following outline to format your response:

Paragraph 1

  • Discuss the ways in which Enlightenment ideas shaped the political, economic, or social institutions of the United States.
  • Identify the Enlightenment individuals who contributed to 1 specific way in which the United States was shaped.

Paragraph 2

  • How would the Enlightenment ideas play a significant role during the American Revolution and War for Independence?
  • Please give specific examples of how these ideas are still relevant to modern American society.
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