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For those of you that wish to know more about the foundation

of American Revolutionary thought here's a very good source

This takes into account the variety of English Enlightenment thought as well as French. English Whigs of that period including Sir Robert Walpole the Prime Minister in the early to mid-18th Century were Conservatives.

In addition to this there was the Chartist Movement which took hold all over Britain in the early years of the 19th Century but originated in philosophy from the previous two centuries.

Sadly Wikipedia doesn't discuss the philosophical underpinning of Chartism which was mid 17th Century Commonwealth thought, and post Commonwealth writers like Locke and Hume and Berkley, Adam Smith,and Richard Price, and with French writers like Rousseau and Voltaire and Montesquieu and Diderot and the Encyclopedists.

The early thinkers in the US like Madison and Jefferson and Samuel Adams had all read very widely of European Enlightenment and had absorbed the thrust of the thoughts regarding broader suffrage and greater restricions on government intrusion into private citizens lives. It took Britain another 50 years to begin to enact these same changes into law.

The great thing is the use which the American students of Enlightenment Thought made of these readings. It is only recently that things seem to have gone pear-shaped.


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