The Age of Enlightenment, in my opinion, started even before the mid seventeenth century as some historians would argue. This is because I believe that the undercurrents that brought about the Enlightenment have persisted in the human spirit from time immemorial. The Enlightenment culminated in the creation of The United States of America, a system of government that was supposed to put individuals and their rights above all else. This was brought about through reason and a certain disdain for the politics of the times. The American colonists were looking for a better system then the monarchies and even the so called representative democracies (which were heavily influenced by a royal presence) they had left behind on the European continent.
When we look at the thought processes that drove the Enlightenment and the writings of the founding fathers, we get a better understanding at the type of system they wanted to set up for their progeny. They understood that if humans were to live as freemen they had to act like they were freemen. They refused to just bow down to the dictates of the British government. They refused to simply accept "the law" that the British elite wanted enforced upon them. They refused to give the British their extortion money and told them they no longer needed their protection services. Perhaps most importantly, they refused to give up their interest free money and accept the debt notes that the Bank of England wanted them to use as legal tender.
To the founders, being free meant they owned themselves. It meant they owned their labor. It meant they owned the property they purchased with the money they earned with their labor. At least it seems that way to me. In order to try to preserve these ideals they fought a revolution, wrote papers of explanation of their beliefs for posterity, and codified them as best they could into the law of the land in the form of the US Constitution. They were enlightened as to the faults of government and the tyranny into which all systems have fallen throughout history. They sought to bind and limit the scope of future government with words and checks and balances so that their progeny could know the blessings of freedom and self determination. That was the spirit of the Constitution and more specifically the Bill of Rights.