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I. The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought that questioned established traditions in all areas of life often preceded the revolutions and rebellions against existing governments.

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slide1

I. The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought that questioned established traditions in all areas of life often preceded the revolutions and rebellions against existing governments.

  • Thinkers applied new ways of understanding the natural world to human relationships, encouraging observation and inference in all spheres of life.

B. Intellectuals critiqued the role that religion played in public life, insisting on the importance of reason as opposed to revelation.

C. Enlightenment thinkers developed new political ideas about the individual, natural rights, and the social contract.

D. The ideas of Enlightenment thinkers influenced resistance to existing political authority, as reflected in revolutionary documents.

Required examples of revolutionary documents:

• The American Declaration of Independence

• The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

• Bolivar’s Jamaica Letter

Teach one illustrative

example of Enlightenment

thinkers, either from the list below or an example of your choice:

• Locke

• Montesquieu

See Freeman Pedia summary

slide2

The state of nature is a concept in moral and political philosophy used in religion, social contract theories and international lawto denote the hypothetical conditions of what the lives of people might have been like before societies came into existence.

the social contract
The Social Contract

What do these definitions have in common?

(1) an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries among theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and the obligations of subjects.

(2) (Philosophy) (in the theories of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and others) an agreement, entered into by individuals, that results in the formation of the state or of organized society, the prime motive being the desire for protection, which entails the surrender of some or all personal liberties

(3) the voluntary agreement among individuals by which, according to any of various theories, as of Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau, organized society is brought into being and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare or to regulate the relations among its members.