This paper explores the connection between the Protestant Reformation and the Revolutions in America and France during the eighteenth century. When the Reformation started, with it came a strong opposition to absolutism and other forms of perceived tyranny. Over time, this culminated in both the American and French Revolutions. An oft-neglected subject in the history of these events, however, is the influence of the Reformation upon Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke. Locke lived in seventeenth-century England at a time when the Geneva Bible outdid the King James Bible in popularity. The Geneva Bible contained marginal notes that promoted the deposition of tyrannical monarchs. The author begins with tracing revolutionary events since the Lutheran Reformation in Germany, including the Peasants’ Revolt and eventually the English Civil War, and finally the American and French Revolutions. Rather than show the Reformation and the Enlightenment as two distinct streams leading to the river of the Revolutions, the author shows that the Reformation, Enlightenment and the Revolutions all come from one stream, with its head at the Reformation.
Keane, Kevan D.
"Cast Off the Yoke of Tyranny!: The Influence of the Reformation upon the Enlightenment and World Revolution,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History: Vol. 2
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol2/iss1/1