An important thinker was John Locke, who wrote the Essay Concerning Human Understanding: –  It’s not correct to think that colours are innate in a creature – you are not born knowing 
colours, actually you learn colours. So, knowledge is not innate. –  Knowledge comes from experience (from life and from experiments; science) –  We can change the society for the better putting together our experiences: with knowledge, the society could progress. They believed on a better society because of the use of reasoning.
Being better individually, we’ll make the society better. 
  Nature works through a set of laws that someone should try to find. Science could use rationality to find these laws – rejection of magic. 
  History: historians should make an effort to differentiate myths and facts. So, they tried to teach history that was objective and based on proven facts. 
  Deism: there was a supreme force that organized the Universe, but they rejected any religious institution, like churches.
Churches would be against freedom of the individuals.
Individuals had to follow their own rationalities. 
If we compare these ideas to the Puritan ones, we can see huge differences:PURITAN BELIEFS: Election and determinism§Hierarchy and authority§God was in the centre (theocentric)
§Knowledge that comes from the Bible §Church and religious institutions
§They believed in magic (witches). ENLIGHTMENT INDEAS: Equality§Freedom of the individual
§Man was in the centre (anthropocentric)
§Knowledge that comes from reason and experience §Deism and individual practise of religion
§They believed in science.So, in the Enlightenment people gave a lot of importance to knowledge, but also culture. Clubs and coffee houses were used to discuss philosophy, books…àthere was a development of intellectual life.
Knowledge was closer to people – not only at universities. (For example, Franklin started lots of libraries). People didn’t have to work so many hours, so there was time to read, think and talk.
Better society because of the use of reasoning, ideas of liberty, equality, fraternityàbasis of the French revolution and the American independence were ideologies of the Enlightenment. Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract
Rousseau believed that man was only happy in his natural state (in the wild) whereas he was unhappy when he was part of the society. Since men are inherently good, but corrupted by institutions (society). These institutions encourage ambition (creating inequality), then corruption and then unhappiness. Then, what could be done to make men happy? He rejected having men living in nature, being self-sufficient and rejecting society, because this way society would not survive. So, this was not a solution for him. The solution was in finding a way to avoid the society corrupting us. How can we avoid that? By a common effort of each individual to help and protect everybody in our society. That meant a social contract, working for the well-being of the entire society: renouncing the individual freedom to embrace communal freedom. So, people should accept what the majority decides, even if it goes against their own beliefs. Everything will need to be decided by elections. By accepting this social contract, they were creating democracy. Democracy gives power to the people to decide all issues and who will represent them. Moreover, the representatives of the people fought for the people, not for their own power. So, representatives would not be  figures of authority, but slaves of the people.àIDEALISTIC VIEW OF DEMOCRACY. Report: Benjamin Franklin’s AutobiographyThese ideas of the Enlightenment were followed by Benjamin Franklin. His own views of himself will be central to the way American citizens developed.
He set up libraries, hospitals, and other centres to create a better society.
He was too extreme with his ideas of moral. He was also contradictory to the Enlightenment (because if people followed that, they wouldn’t be free) and to himself. THE GREAT AWAKENING – 18th C : It was based on the revival of faith in the colonies for many reasons: §  Society had become less religious because people didn’t believe in religious institutions. 
Also, economy and trade were more important.àsecularization of society 
§  Secularization of religionàbecause of the half-way covenant there was less blind faith in God. Since people who haven’t been chosen were part of the community. 
§  They started to feel that they were falling apart from God’s path. The consequence of this 
fear was the revival of faith. 
Some religious orators went around the colonies to try to convince people of going back to religion. An example of them was George Whitefield, who was a preacher but a dramatic actor, before, so he was really good giving speeches. 
Another one was Jonathan Edwards. He thought that society was becoming corrupt and materialistic. In order to solve that, people should embrace religion again. His speeches were based on fear, he was trying to get to people’s emotions to get them back to God.
He believed in the existence of sin, and then converting again to religion to achieve salvation and avoid going to hell. Report: Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
It is a sermon appealing to repentance for having forgotten about God. He wants people to repent for their behaviour.
Only God can decide whether you are going to hell; also when you are going to die.
With powerful and graphic images he describes: – That you are worse than people who are already in hell.
- That God holds you over like a spider and wants to throw you into hell.
- That God will crush you under his feet without mercy and also your blood is