• The ideas of the European Enlightenment influenced the American and French Revolutions as well as Latin American independence movements - ideas like consent of the governed, natural rights, and popular sovereignty were inspirational
• The Enlightenment was also known as the Age of Reason and it was a period in the 1700s in Western Europe; in this period, new ideas about government and law developed - ideas like separation of powers (Montesquieu), consent of the governed and natural rights of life, liberty and property (John Locke), religious freedom and freedom of speech (Voltaire), and the social contract (Rousseau) as well as popular sovereignty (the people give government its power through voting)
• The North and South American independence movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries shared revolutionary demands based on Enlightenment political ideas
• Enlightenment ideas inspired the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and independence movements in Haiti in the Caribbean and Latin America
• Indeed, the American Constitution is an Enlightenment document beginning with the Enlightenment ideals in the Preamble: "We the People..."