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The Enlightenment. The English. England 1650-1800. Prelude Following the death of Elizabeth I, James I, a staunch Catholic, assumes the throne and begins the persecution of the Protestants. 1649: The English Civil War

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england 1650 1800
England 1650-1800
  • Prelude
    • Following the death of Elizabeth I, James I, a staunch Catholic, assumes the throne and begins the persecution of the Protestants.
  • 1649: The English Civil War
    • Charles I is executed and Oliver Cromwell is placed in charge of the Commonwealth
      • Though started with lofty goals, eventually devolves into dictatorship
      • It lasts for 10 years before England reverts to the monarchy and Charles II is placed on the throne
thomas hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
  • Bio b.1588-d.1679
    • Begins life as a tutor, but becomes interested in philosophy and starts writing. In 1840, he fears he has angered Parliament so he flees to Paris.
  • Writings
    • Leviathan, 1850
  • Ideas
    • Believes man is inherently bad and will only behave if “awed” by an absolute ruler.
    • Sovereign has only one task, to protect his citizens, if he fails than allegiance should transfer to another.
    • Atheist, religion should only be used for propaganda.
    • Human life is “nasty, brutish and short.”
john locke
John Locke
  • Bio b. 1632-d. 1704
    • Received a prestigious education and while dabbling in medicine, a mentor introduced him to political thought. His early works focus on religious tolerance in response to the bickering in England at the time.
  • Writings
    • Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690
    • Two Treatises of Government, 1690
  • Ideas
    • Man is inherently good.
    • Necessity of government requires compromise for the betterment of the whole.
    • Representative government with separation of powers.
    • Founding fathers drew on this for the U.S. Constitution
    • Humans have the inalienable rights to “Life, Liberty and Property.”
david hume
David Hume
  • Bio b. 1711-1776
    • Scottish, philosopher and historian. Friend of Adam Smith. Spent time in France as well.
  • Writings
    • A Treatise of Human Nature, 1738
    • Essays Moral and Political, 1744
    • Political Discourses, 1752
  • Ideas
    • Reason is not motivation alone, must be driven by morals and passion.
    • Stresses importance of the rule of law.
    • Doesn’t matter what government is in charge, so long as it’s fair.