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The Enlightenment and the American Revolution


Political Cartoon. Today we will create a political cartoon. We will divided up into our groups. ... Political Cartoons. Birth of the American Republic ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Enlightenment and the American Revolution

The Enlightenment and the American Revolution
Progress and Reason
  • The Scientific revolution of the 1500s and the
    1600s transformed the way Europe looked at the
  • In the 1700s Joseph Priestley and Antoine
    Lavoisier built the framework for chemistry.
    Edward Jenner developed a vaccine for small pox.

Two views of the Social Contract
  • Thomas Hobbes said in his book Leviathan that
    people were naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish.
  • Hobbes believed that people entered into a social
    contract, an agreement by which they gave up the
    state of nature for an organized society.

Two views of Social contract
  • John Locke believed that people were basically
    reasonable and moral.
  • Locke believed that people had certain natural
    rights- rights that belong to all humans from
    birth. These include the right to life, liberty,
    and property.

Separation of Powers
  • Montesquieu published The Spirit of the Laws. He
    wrote about the governments throughout history.
    He especially liked the British limited monarchy.
  • Montesquieu liked the idea of having three
    branches legislative, executive, and judicial.
    Montesquieu also felt that each branch should
    serve as a check and balances.

The Philosophes and Society
  • Philosophes are thinkers who love wisdom.
  • Voltaire defends freedom of thought. Voltaire
    used wit as a weapon to expose the abuse of his
    day. He targeted corrupt officials and
    aristocrats. He was against the slave trade and
    deplored religious prejudice. Voltaire's
    outspoken attacks offended both the French
    government and the Catholic Church. He was
    imprisoned and forced to exile.

The Encyclopedia
  • Denis Diderot spent 25 years to produce a 28
    volume Encyclopedia. He wanted to change the
    general way of thinking. Diderot included
    articles from the leading thinkers of the day
    such as Montesquieu and Voltaire.
  • They denounced slavery, and praised freedom of
    expression. They attacked divine right and
    traditional religions.
  • The French government was against the
    Encyclopedia and the Pope threaten to
    excommunicate people who bought the book.
  • However 20,000 copies of the book were sold
    between 1751 and 1789. When translated it helped
    to spread Enlightenment ideas throughout Europe.

  • Rousseau was the most controversial philosophe he
    came from a poor family.
  • Rousseau believed people in their natural state
    were good. He felt that they became corrupt by
    the evils of society and especially with the
    unequal distribution of property.

  • In 1762 Rousseau expressed his ideas about
    government and society in his book Social
    Contract He believed that society placed too many
    limitations on people.
  • Rousseau believed in the general will or the best
    conscience of the people. Rousseau thought that
    good of the community should be placed above the
    good of the individual. This also made him
    different from the other Enlightment thinkers.

Women and the Enlightenment
  • Women were being excluded from the social
  • Wollstonecraft was a well-known British social
  • She did not think that a woman should be
    dependent on a man.
  • She published A Vindication of the Right of Women
    she called on equal education for boys and girls.

New Economic Thinking
  • Other thinkers known as physiocrats focused on
    economic relief.
  • They were against mercantilism, which requires
    government regulations. They supported a policy
    of laissez faire, allowing business to operate
    with little or no government interference.

Adam Smith
  • Adam Smith was a British economist.
  • In his influential work, The Wealth of Nations,
    he argues that the free market should be allowed
    to regulate business activity.

The challenge of New Ideas
  • Government and the Church fought hard to protect
    their old order. To protect against the
    enlightenment, they waged a war of censorship, or
    restricting access to ideas or information. They
    banned and burned books and imprisoned writers.
  • Some writers such as Voltaire disguised their
    ideas as works of fiction.

  • The new literature, art, science, and philosophy
    were regular topics of discussion in salons,
    informal social gatherings.
  • The most famous of these salons was in the house
    of Madame Geoffrin. She had Wolfgang Amadeus play
    for her guests and Diderot spoke regularly.

Enlightened Despots
  • Some monarchs did accept Enlightenment ideas.
    They became enlightenment despots, or absolute
    rulers who used their power to bring about
    political and social change.
  • Three rulers who embodied this way were Frederick
    the Great, Catherine the Great, and Joseph II.

The Arts and Literature
  • In the age of Louis XIV art was in the tradition
    of complex style known as baroque. Baroque
    paintings were huge, colorful, and full of
  • By the mid 1700s architects and designers
    developed the rococo style. Unlike the heavy
    splendor of the baroque, rococo was personal,
    elegant, and charming.

Britain at Mid- Century
  • Why did Britain, a small island kingdom on the
    edge of Europe, rise to global power?
  • Englands location put them in the middle of
    trade during the Renaissance.
  • In the 1700s Britain was generally on the
    winning side in European conflicts.
  • England offered a favorable climate for trade.

Growth of Constitutional Government
  • After the glorious Revolution, three new
    political institutions arose political parties,
    the cabinet, and the office of prime minister.
  • The appearance of these institutions was a part
    of the evolution of Britain's constitutional
    government, a government whose power is defined
    and limited by law.

Political Parties
  • Two political parties emerged in England the
    Tories and Whigs.
  • These groups represented exclusive social circles
    among rich, powerful men in Parliament.
  • The modern political party, which represents
    groups of voters and has a distinct platform, did
    not appear until the 1800s.

The Cabinet System
  • A handful of parliamentary advisors met in a
    small room or in a cabinet so they were called
    the cabinet.
  • In time, the cabinet gained official status. It
    was made up of the leaders of the majority party
    in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister
  • Heading the cabinet was the prime minister.
  • The prime minister was the leader of the majority
    party in Parliament and in time the chief
    official of the British government.

Political Cartoon
  • Today we will create a political cartoon. We will
    divided up into our groups.
  • As a group you need to decide who will draw the
    picture, who will come up with the caption for
    the picture, and who will present the picture to
    the class. The final person should be the leader
    making sure everyone is on task and helping the
    other members as needed.

The Characters
Political Cartoons
Birth of the American Republic
  • In 1750 13 British colonies stretched along the
    eastern coast of North America. These colonies
    linked the west with the global trade.
  • Parliament passed the Navigation Acts to regulate
    colonial trade and manufacturing.
  • The colonists felt they were entitled to the
    English rights. The northern colonist differed
    from the southern. Many also wanted to be
    separate from Britain.

Growing Discontent
  • Wars drained the British treasure. Britain began
    to enforce new laws to increase the amount of
    taxes the colonist would pay.
  • The colonist saw this as an attack on their
    rights. They protested No taxation without
    representation since they had no representatives
    in Parliament they had no right to tax them.

Early Clashes
  • In 1770 five colonist were killed by British
    soldiers this became to be known as the Boston
  • In 1773 colonist hurled a cargo of British tea
    into the harbor this became known as the Boston
    Tea Party.

Declaring Independence
  • The colonies set up a Continental Army, with
    George Washington as their leader.
  • In 1776 the second Continental Congress declared
    independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson was
    the principal author of the Declaration of
  • The Declaration said that people had the right to
    abolish unjust governments and they had a right
    to revolt. They also emphasized the principle of
    popular sovereignty which says that government
    powers come from the people.

The American Revolution
  • At first it looked bleak for the colonists. The
    British had professional soldiers, a huge fleet,
    and plentiful of money. The also had loyalist
    people in the colonies that supported Britain.
  • The Continental Congress had a few military
    resources. They were fighting on their own soil

French Alliance
  • When the Americans defeated the British in the
    Battle of Saratoga they won the support of the
  • The French wanted to join against their old
    rival, Britain.
  • The French alliance brought supplies, trained
    soldiers, and French warships.

Treaty of Paris
  • In 1781 Washington forced the British army to
    surrender at Yorktown.
  • Two years later the American, French, and the
    British diplomats signed the Treaty of Paris
    ending the war.

A New Constitution
  • The Articles of Confederation was too weak to
    rule the new Untied States.
  • The new Constitution created a federal republic,
    with power divided between the federal, or
    national government and the states.
  • A central frame was the separation of powers
    legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

A new constitution
  • The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to
    the Constitution, recognized the idea that people
    had basic rights.
  • These freedoms included freedom of religion,
    speech, and the press.

Limited freedom
  • In 1789, the Constitution became the supreme law
    of the land. It set up a representative
    government with a elected legislature to reflect
    the wishes of the people.
  • Yet most Americans could not vote.