The Enlightenment - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – The Enlightenment PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 68dac5-YmI2Y


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

The Enlightenment


The Enlightenment (a.k.a. the Age of Reason) Europe 1750-1814 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:30
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Date added: 23 October 2019
Slides: 25
Provided by: Greece
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment
(a.k.a. the Age of Reason)
  • Europe
  • 1750-1814

  • What was the Scientific Revolution and what was
    its impact?
  • What was the Enlightenment and what was its
  • Whate were the key concepts of the Enlightenment?

  • The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, is the
    period in the 1700-1800s in which European
    political philosophers developed ideas about how
    government should work.
  • The ideas were inspired by the discoveries of the
    Scientific Revolution.

  • The Scientific Revolution began in the mid-1500s
    when scientists began discovering natural laws
    about the universe.
  • Before the Revolution, peoples understading of
    the way the universe worked was told to them by
    the Church.

  • They taught that the Earth was the center of the
    universe, which is called the geocentric theory.
  • In 1543, Polish astronomer Copernicus published a
    book that challenged the Churchs teaching.

  • He said that the Sun was the center of the
    universe , which is called the heliocentric
  • In 1609, Italian scientist Galileo built a
    telescope and confirmed Copernicus theory.

  • He also published his finding and got in trouble
    with the Catholic Church.
  • As a result, he was put on trial in front of the
    Church, which is called an Inquisition.
  • Under the pressure, Galileo recanted and
    publically said that the Church was right, though
    he didnt believe it.

(No Transcript)
  • During this time, the scientific method was
    developed, where scientists used observations to
    test hypotheses and learn more about the natural
  • Other noteworthy thinkers of the Scientific
    Revoltuion include Sir Isaac Newton (father of
    physics) and Renee Descartes.

(No Transcript)
  • The philosophes were observing history and trying
    to discover natural laws that governed society.
  • In particularly, they were trying to explain the
    English Civil War and how England moved away from
    absolute monarchy to representative democracy.

Natural Rights
  • Enlightenment philosophers believed that everyone
    was entitled to three basic rights, no matter
    what. The natural rights are
  • Life
  • Liberty
  • Property

Social Contract Theory of Government
  • This concept, developed by Hobbes, Locke and
    Rousseau, stated that government was an agreement
    between the people in power and the people who
    lived under their rule.
  • In this deal, the individuals give up a portion
    of their freedom in exchange for the security and
    safety provided by the government.
  • If either side doesnt meet the agreement, the
    contract is void.

Popular Sovereignty
  • Another key belief of the Enlightenment was
    popular sovereignty, which is the belief that the
    people are the true and only source of
    government's power.
  • So power comes from the people, not from God as
    believed in the period before (as in the era of
    absolutism and the Divine Right of Kings)

  • The Enlightenment was also a secular movement.
    Secular means worldly rather than spiritual.
  • In other words, non-religious.
  • Enlightenment thinkers rejected the idea of
    Divine Right, which absolute monarchs used to
    justify their abuses of power.

Separation of Powers
  • Another key idea designed to stop the abuse of
    power of absolute monarchs was separation of
  • Dividing the government into different parts
    makes it so one part doesnt get too powerful and
    abuse its power.
  • This also leads to checks and balances, the idea
    that these different parts check the power of
    the others.

Enlightened Despot
  • Some absolute monarchs heard the ideas of the
    Enlightenment and changed the way they rule
    (well a little at least). They are called
    Enlightened despots. The best example is
    Catherine the Great of Russia.
  • Most werent smart enough to makes changes and
    the people would eventually revolt and overthrow
    them. Usually they executed the ruler too.

Enlightenment Thinkers
  • Here are some of the key Enlightenment thinkers
    you need to know.
  • Most of them are from England and France.

Thomas Hobbes England
  • Author of Leviathan (1651), an allegory about the
    overthrow and beheading of the English King
    Charles I
  • Hobbes believed that men were simple and
    brutish and needed a strong government to keep
    order in society
  • Unlike other Enlightenment Thinkers, he advocated
    a strong government like absolute monarchy.
    However, his ideas started the discussion of how
    government should work, leading to different

John Locke England
  • Probably the most important thinker of the
  • Wrote Two Treatises of Government, which stressed
    Natural Rights and introduced the idea of the
    Social Contract Theory of Government.
  • This ideas said that government should protect
    the natural rights of people or be overthrown,
    thus justifying revolution.

Voltaire France
  • He believed an enlightened monarchy (enlightened
    despot)a ruler familiar with the philosophy of
    the Enlightenmentwas the best form of
  • He also expanded the ideas of Lockes Social
    Contract and Natural Rights.

Jean Jacques Rousseau France
  • wrote The Social Contract
  • Said that "Man is born free, yet everywhere he is
    in chains... "
  • Stressed that power came from the people, not
    from God

Montesquieu France
  • French baron and landed aristocrat who wrote The
    Spirit of Laws.
  • He proposed governmental powers be separated
    among three branches executive, legislative, and
    judicial, to prevent abuse of power. Each branch
    would check on the other.

Effects of the Enlightenment
  • The Enlightenment and its ideas helped cause the
    American and French Revolutions. In fact, it has
    been a cause of every revolution ever since.
  • Modern democracies are based on the ideas the
    Enlightenment thinkers talked about.