The American Enlightenment: Worlds apart from the French one

The American Enlightenment?  The idea may seem surprising.  Wasn't the Enlightenment about the ideas of the French philosopher Voltaire and his followers? Actually, there was an American Enlightenment, and it was fundamentally different from the Enlightenment in France.  The two were related because they belonged to the same era of Western history, a time in which other countries, especially England and Scotland, also had their own Enlightenments.  That era encompassed the 18th century.    Although the French and American Enlightenments were going on at the same time, they were fundamentally different.  The French had Voltaire and his coterie.  Who, you ask, were the thinkers of the American Enlightenment?  You know them already as the American founders.  Here is Paul Johnson in his outstanding book, A History of the American People: It is rare indeed for a nation to have at...(Read Full Post)
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