Pedro Hernandez : Questions and Keywords
February 15, 2013 § 2 Comments
I am studying the influence on Enlightenment ideals in the break from the Old World and colonialism. More specifically, the ideals of Thomas Jefferson and Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
To find out how these similar ideas became manifest in such different manners immediately after their respective declarations of independence.
In order to help the reader better understand the role of the Enlightenment in the New World and just exactly how these ideals were interpreted while answering “Independence for whom?”
Keywords I’ve chosen include independence, Enlightenment, Declaration of Independence, Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo, United States, Mexico, Colonialism, Liberalism, Popular Sovereignty, and intellectual life. So far I’ve had some luck with locating American intellectual sources but as to this experience is concerned, my OskiCat endeavors for Mexican Intellectual history have been less than fruitful. I’ve found much better luck actually searching amongst the books in person though so at this point it’s all good. As a sort of consolation, I stumbled upon some sources for both men in the Bancroft listings.
The particular book I will be addressing is The French Enlightenment in America: Essays on the Times of the Founding Fathers. As the title suggests this collection of scholarship has been crafted in regards to the French intellectual presence in American society from 1760-1800. Utilizing the premise that “nations nor individuals exist in vacuums” the book then addresses several crucial issues in an exemplary intellectual investigation such as intellectual correspondence, the level of French spoken by the Founding Fathers, the time delay of overseas news, French literature and even “Voltaire in the South.” With this book my investigation has already taken a curious turn as although Jefferson would in time become intrigued with French philosophes, he have virtually little contact (due to a laundry list of preexisting circumstances) with them before penning the declaration of independence. Father Miguel Hidalgo on the other hand was a noted reader of banned (by the Catholic Church) French books of science and philosophy. I look forward to continuing my work.