Many people in America hold the opinion that the political concepts of liberty and freedom originated with the American colonists and the Declaration of Independence. In fact, these concepts came to the forefront during the Enlightenment, which was a period of time during the 18th century in Europe when numerous philosophers began to seriously present the idea of a free and democratic society as an alternative to the monarchies that were prevalent in Europe at that time. These philosophers included such luminaries as John Locke, Baron Montesquieu, Immanuel Kant, ...

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