Clio’s Notes: Establishing America: 1609-1865 The Period’s Noteworthy Trends 1



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The Enlightenment: Enlightenment thinkers, such as John Locke, argued that people are born with certain natural rights that governments are obligated to protect. Governments that break the social contract and deny these rights risk rebellion.
Classical Republicanism: Advocates of classical republicanism argued that democracy and liberty are fragile. In the course of history, liberty is often squashed by those with a lust for power. British actions in the 1760’s, they said, fit this pattern. Only an alert, virtuous, and invested group of citizens could keep liberty alive.


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