- from Enlightenment
In the 1700s, there were no phones, no Internet, and no social media. Still, ideas bounced back and forth between Europe and the Americas, just not as quickly as today.
The Enlightenment ideas of individual freedom, progress, and human rights sprang from Europe. Then they crossed the Atlantic to inspire Britain’s American colonies to revolution and later to create a new kind of government. Soon, those ideas were traveling back to Europe, and to France in particular. The Declaration of Independence was widely read and admired in France. Both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson spent years in Paris as ambassadors for the United States. By 1789, the ideas that had traveled from France to North America and back to France had started a revolution there.