This philosophy emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries and would have a strong influence on the thinking that created both the American and French Republics.
The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason sought to apply the techniques and approaches developed for scientific enquiry to the knotty topic of society. Its prime notion was to urge reform and its main watchwords were liberty and reason; the key targets for their scorn were dated traditional structures and religious thought.
By ‘reason’ they wanted more thought, more interchange of ideas, more debate. The liberties they sought were freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom from oppression.
These ideas inspired the American revolutionaries in the Declaration of Independence. Monarchs and ministers, of necessity, became mindful of their ideas.