American Heritage

"Enlightenment and Natural Rights"

Overview

In the American colonies, the Enlightenment represented a scientific study of both the human and physical worlds that pursued an advancement of knowledge and a discovery of enduring truths. This advancement was centered on the four pillars of religious, political, and economic freedom, and moral responsibility. Benjamin Franklin—whose intellectual endeavors and scientific discoveries not only served as the basis for his indispensable political work, but also materially benefited civil society throughout the world—embodied the American Enlightenment.

Lecture

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Q & A Session

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Terrence O. Moore is a former assistant professor of history at Hillsdale College. He earned his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh.