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The Vision and the Genesis of the Declaration of Independence

John Ridpath

Presented at: IRM 1996

Date: Jun 29, 1996

Of all of the political achievements of the 18th century Enlightenment, the Declaration of Independence stands at the pinnacle. This lecture looks at the causes that led the colonies to separate from Great Britain. It identifies the dominant intellectual climate of that time, it analyzes the specific ideas of the Declaration, and it shows this document's relationship to France's Declaration of the Rights ofMan and Citizen (1789), which began the French Revolution. Dr. Ridpath provides the historical and philosophical basis for understanding both the greatness of America's Declaration and its vulnerability to later attack.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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