The Enlightenment Thinkers

Topics: United States, Liberalism, Criminal justice Pages: 2 (420 words) Published: October 25, 2012
Dakota Devery

F Block Hon. History


When the Enlightment was happening three great thinkers greatly impacted modern day society. The three greatest thinkers were Beccaria, Locke, and Voltaire. Beccaria came up with the idea of a criminal justice system. Locke believed that all people were born equal and had three natural rights. Voltaire believed in the freedom of speech. All of these thinkers ideas have had a huge impact on society in many different ways.

Beccaria was one of the great thinkers. He was born in Italy and believed that laws should be used to preserve order not revenge. He was greatly against torture and unnecessary punishment. And that a person convicted of a crime should have a fair trial in the court of law. Beccaria is the reason that we have the modern day criminal justice system in the United States of America.

Locke was another great that greatly impacted modern society. Locke believed that all people were born equal with equal rights. No one person should have more power over another person. He also believed that all people should have three natural born rights. They are the freedom to life, liberty, and property. Freedom to life meant that all people have the right to live. Liberty means that all people can live fair lives. And property means that all people should have the right to own a house or land. These ideas are used in the United States Constitution. Locke came up with some ideas that lead to modern day Democracy.

Voltaire is the last of these great thinkers. He believed that all people have the freedom of speech. Which basically means all people have the right to voice there opion. Voltaire was sent to jail multiple times because he would speak out thing that people did not believe in. In 1726 he spoke against Chevalier de Rohan and was to be exiled. When he died in 1777 he was not to be buried at a church because of his religious criticism towards the church. Thanks to Voltaire we have the freedom of...
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