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Chapter 6 – Section 2. The Enlightenment in Europe. Introduction. Enlightenment – Age of Reason Applying reason and the scientific method to all aspects of life Society – Government, Religion, Economics, Education, Business, Thought, etc. Do we see this in our society now?.

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Chapter 6 section 2
Chapter 6 – Section 2

The Enlightenment in Europe


  • Enlightenment – Age of Reason

    • Applying reason and the scientific method to all aspects of life

      • Society – Government, Religion, Economics, Education, Business, Thought, etc.

      • Do we see this in our society now?

Two views on government
Two Views on Government

  • Hobbes’s Social Contract

    • The English Civil War spurred Hobbes’s to conclude that all people are selfish and not nice.

    • Saw life as brutal and nasty (glass have empty type of guy

    • To overcome such nastiness, people needed to give up their rights to a central authority (absolute monarchy)

      • Gained law & order

        • Known as the Social contract where people created absolute monarchs with their own selfishness.

        • Hobbes’s said that absolute monarchs needed to rule like a leviathan (sea monster).

          Does this make any sense whatsoever?

  • Locke’s Natural Rights

    • He was a more “glass half-full” type of dude

      • People could learn from mistakes and improve themselves

      • Do you see both Hobbes’s and Locke’s theories today? Where? How?

      • Favored self-government

    • Believed in the 3 natural rights

      • Life

      • Liberty

      • Property

    • The government’s job was to protect these rights. The government was by and for the people by popular consent.

      • If government wasn’t for the people, Locke noted they should be overthrown.

        • This was a further step towards our modern-day democracy!!!

Philosophes advocate reason
Philosophes Advocate Reason

  • Same thing as philosophers who met in France in the mid-1700s.

    • They believed they could APPLY reason to life just as scientists applied reason to science.

    • The core of their philosophy was based on 5 critical elements

      • Reason-Absence on intolerance, bigotry, bias, or prejudice in one’s thinking to make analytical decisions.

      • Nature-There were laws in science, but also societal laws in economics, behavior, politics, etc.

      • Happiness-A decent life on earth vs. being miserable so you could have joy in heaven.

      • Progress-Society moving forward and perfecting it through technology and science.

      • Liberty-Being free and trusting citizens to make good choices as to not screw it up.

Philosophes voltaire
Philosophes - Voltaire

  • “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” –Voltaire.

    • What does this statement indicate about Voltaire’s views on free speech?

    • How is it similar to beliefs about free speech in the U.S.

  • Voltaire didn’t foster changed with violence, but did it with the swipe of his pen.

    • Mocked France’s restrictive govt.

    • Envied England's govt.

    • Pushed for freedom from the repressive French govt. and freedom of religion.

      • Let people choose what’s best for them instead of an absolute monarch forcing it upon them.

Nooooo! I’m with Voltaire

Montesquieu wants separation
Montesquieu wants Separation

  • He was a writer just like Voltaire and used his pen to influence society.

    • Montesquieu also felt that England had an awesome govt.

      • King and his ministers – Carried out laws (Executive Power)

      • Parliament – Made laws (Legislative Power)

      • Judges/English Courts - Interpreted laws to determine legality (Judicial Power)

      • He called this division, Separation of Powers

  • What is the purpose of separation of powers?

    • To keep any one branch of government from

      gaining TOTAL control (Checks and Balances)

Jean jacques rousseau freedom
Jean Jacques Rousseau & Freedom

  • A very awkward man who didn’t fit in.

    • So…instead of conforming to society, he challenged it with new ideas.

    • According to Rousseau, “People had lived as free and equal individuals in a primitive ‘state of nature’”.

      • However, when people became more advanced and civilized people lost their freedom to unjust laws under an absolute monarchy

  • Believed that govt. should be formed by and for the people (Elections – Direct Democracy).

    • No social contract here!!!

      • No contract between people and govt., but free individuals creating a society.

  • His, radical at the time ideas, inspired many to embark on the French Revolution that overthrew the monarchy in 1789.

  • Rousseau s belief
    Rousseau’s belief

    Had more freedom than…

    Civilized man

    Cesare bonesana beccaria criminal justice
    CesareBonesanaBeccaria & Criminal Justice

    • Believed laws were to promote social order, not to punish crime

    • Spoke out against injustices/abuses he had seen.

      • Torture

      • Illegitimate trials

      • Punishments that did not fit the crime, but were more severe

  • His argument consisted of:

    • A speedy trial

    • No torture

    • Punishment should fit the crime

  • Women and the enlightenment
    Women and the Enlightenment

    • Mary Wollstonecraft

      • Published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792.

      • Rousseau was pretty cool in his thought process, but he was a


        • Wollstonecraft challenged his thoughts

          • Women should receive same education as men

          • Women could be doctors, not just nurses

          • Women should participate in politics

  • Overall, women lobbied for better educational opportunities

  • Many wealthy women spread enlightenment ideas at salons (social gatherings)

  • Enlightenment s impact
    Enlightenment’s Impact

    • Three long-term effects

      • Belief in Progress

        • If science could solve problems and gain believers, philosophes felt the could solve social problems too.

    • Secular Outlook

      • Promoted tolerance of all religions and rid Christianity of superstitions.

      • Believed in God, but proved God’s awesomeness through mathematics and science instead of it being a mystery.

  • Importance of Individual

    • Becoming self-reliant instead of depending on royalty and the church.

    • Know morals (Difference between right and wrong).

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