The Enlightment period was considered to be a period or age of Reason. It advocated the authoritative system of ethics, aesthetics and knowledge. The term also referred to a movement known as 'The Enlightenment' in which it provided a framework for the American and French Revolutions to independent movement which led to the rise of capitalism and the birth of socialism. As for the government, it saw the rise of empirical philosophical ideas as well as their application to political economy. Check out http://www.online-literature.com/periods/enlightenment.php for detailed information.
The Enlightenment was more in Europe originally. The Founders were influenced by it but it were by no means the originators. The British John Locke was a key figure, for example as were french artists like Voltaire.