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The Enlightenment


The Enlightenment The Age of Reason The Enlightenment was a 18th century philosophical movement built on the achievements of the Scientific Revolution. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment
  • The Age of Reason

Path to the Enlightenment
  • The Enlightenment was a 18th century
    philosophical movement built on the achievements
    of the Scientific Revolution.
  • Enlightenment philosophers hoped to make a better
    society by applying the scientific method and the
    use of reason to social problems.
  • Enlightenment philosophers said society was
    governed by natural laws just like the universe
    which Newton described.

General Enlightenment Beliefs
  • 1. Reason should be used at all times.
  • 2. The search for new knowledge should always
  • 3. Prisoners should not be tortured. Justice
    systems should improve.
  • 4. Slavery and warfare should be done away with.
  • 5. Freedom of religion, speech, and press should
    be enjoyed by all.
  • 6. Everyone deserves liberty and equality.
  • 7. There should be public education for all, not
    just the rich.

Philosophes and Their Ideas
  • Philosophe French for philosopher.
  • They wanted to improve the world through rational
    criticism of beliefs in all areas.
  • They opposed special privileges for the rich, and
    divine right rulers.
  • They opposed slavery, torture, religious
    persecution, and censorship.
  • Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Montesquieu are
    the best known philosophers.

John Locke
  • People are born with a tabula rosa, or blank
  • All people are equal.
  • The right influence and environment for the young
    could create a new way of understanding and lead
    to a better society.
  • People are born with natural rights.
  • Life, liberty, and property
  • People have the right to choose their government.
    Social Contract.
  • Government gets the right to rule from the
  • Citizens have the right to overthrow a government
    that violates their natural rights.

Charles-Louis de Baron de Montesquieu
  • The Spirit of the Laws (1748)
  • Studied governments to find natural laws
    governing social and political relationships.
  • Identified 3 types of government republics,
    despotism, and monarchies.
  • Absolute rulers limit basic rights like the
    freedoms of speech, press, and religion.
  • All nations should decrease their military to
    reduce the threat of war.
  • Separation of Powers
  • Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches
  • Checks and Balances
  • One branch should not have total power.

Francois-Marie Arouet, (Voltaire)
  • Criticized Christianity.
  • Religious myths and ceremonies do nothing to make
    man better and should be ignored.
  • Believe only those things about God that are
    based on reason and common sense.
  • Deism
  • The world is like a clock.
  • God created it and left it alone to run according
    to natural laws without his intervention.
  • Clockwork Universe.
  • The scientist is more important than the
    conquering general.

Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Social Contract (1762) - members of a society
    agree to be governed by the general will of the
  • Emile education should nurture, not restrict
    childrens natural instincts.
  • Compared to man in the stone age, modern man is
    unhappy, insecure, and greedy.
  • Social and political reform must be made before
    man can become a good person.

Denis Diderot
  • Encyclopedia (1751)
  • 28 volumes
  • Argued for religious toleration and social
    improvements to make society more humane.

Adam Smith
  • Adam Smith Wealth of Nations (1776)
  • Scottish economist
  • Invisible Hand prices set by supply and
  • Government has three functions
  • Protect society from invasion
  • Defend the society from crime
  • Maintain public works

  • Group of French Economists who believed that the
    wealth of nations comes from the value of "land
    agriculture" or "land development."
  • Their emphasis was on productive work as the
    source of national wealth
  • Laissez-faire (let the people do)
  • Governments should not interfere with economic
    choices through regulation. HANDS OFF

Mary Wollstonecraft
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  • She is considered the founder of the European and
    American womens rights movements.

John Wesley
  • Began Methodism.
  • Preached that the gift of Gods grace was the way
    to salvation.
  • Stressed the importance of good works.
  • Helped lead the Great Awakening in the American

  • The Enlightenment took the tools of the
    Scientific Revolution and applied them to
  • The ideals of the Enlightenment led to the
    American and French Revolutions which changed the