What philosophical and socio-political doctrines prevalent in the 18th century were reflected in the US Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration reflects:
1) the ideas of Locke and Montesquieu about the natural equality of people – “… all people are created equal and they are all endowed by their Creator with some inalienable rights, which include: life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness”;
2) Rousseau’s principle of popular sovereignty, which allows the people to overthrow a government that violates the rights of its people – “… governments have been established among the people, borrowing their just power from the consent of the governed. If this form of government becomes disastrous for this purpose, then the people have the right to change or destroy it and establish a new government based on such principles and with such an organization of power, which, in the opinion of this people, can most contribute to its safety and happiness. ” …