Application and Reflection Questions
In your opinion, what should be considered natural rights? Why?
What were some of the ways in which the rhetoric about rights and freedoms in the Enlightenment was contradictory?
Did the public debates of the Enlightenment represent the general population? Why or why not?
How did the public sphere of the salons and coffeehouses intersect with the print culture of the Enlightenment era?
How did the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution each adapt the principles of natural rights and social contact theory?
In your opinion, which of the American Revolution’s achievements and shortcomings are still apparent today, and how have they shaped the modern world? How do these historical legacies compare with those of other revolutions of the eighteenth century?
How did eighteenth-century revolutions inspire new approaches to political structures and the balance of political authority?
Compare and contrast the goals and ideals of liberalism, nationalism, and conservatism.