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Chapter 21 – Enlightenment and Revolution. Section Notes. Video. Ideas of the Enlightenment New Views on Government The Age of Revolution. The Declaration of Independence. Maps. Quick Facts. European Monarchies, 1789. Ideas of Enlightenment Documents of Democracy

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Chapter 21 – Enlightenment and Revolution

Section Notes


Ideas of the Enlightenment

New Views on Government

The Age of Revolution

The Declaration of



Quick Facts

European Monarchies, 1789

Ideas of Enlightenment

Documents of Democracy

Chapter 21 Visual Summary


Alessandro Volta

Time Line: The

Enlightenment Reaches


Women’s March on


ideas of the enlightenment
The Big Idea

Enlightenment thinkers built on ideas from earlier movements to emphasize the importance of reason.

Main Ideas

The Enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason.

The Enlightenment’s roots can be traced back to earlier ideas.

New ideas came mainly from French and British thinkers.

Ideas of the Enlightenment
the age of reason
Changes in Europe from the Scientific Revolution led people to use reason to make decisions.

The use of reason in guiding people’s thoughts about philosophy, society, and politics defined a time period called the Enlightenment.

These new scholars relied on reason or logical thought instead of religious teachings to explain how the world worked.

They believed that human reason could be used to achieve three great goals—knowledge, freedom, and happiness.

The Age of Reason
main idea 2 the enlightenment s roots can be traced back to earlier ideas
The main ideas of the Enlightenment had their roots in other eras. Enlightenment thinkers looked back to the Greeks, the Romans, and the history of Christianity. Main Idea 2:The Enlightenment’s roots can be traced back to earlier ideas.
the enlightenment s roots
The Enlightenment was rooted in Greek and Roman ideas.

Enlightenment thinkers disagreed with the church’s claims to authority and its intolerance toward non-Christian beliefs.

Renaissance and Reformation ideas also reappeared during the Enlightenment period.

The Scientific Revolution also influenced Enlightenment thinkers.

The Enlightenment’s Roots
main idea 3 new ideas came mainly from french and british thinkers
Enlightenment thinkers borrowed ideas from history to develop a new worldview. They believed the use of reason could improve society. To achieve this progress, they had to share their ideas with others.Main Idea 3:New ideas came mainly from French and British thinkers.
the spread of new ideas
French Enlightenment thinkers spread their ideas through their writings.

They made efforts to share their writings with the public.

British men and women also began to publish their writings.

Some women writers believed that women should have the same rights as men.

The Spread of New Ideas
new views on government
The Big Idea

Enlightenment ideas influenced the growth of democratic governments in Europe and America.

Main Ideas

The Enlightenment influenced some monarchies.

Enlightenment thinkers helped the growth of democratic ideas.

In America, the Enlightenment inspired a struggle for independence.

New Views on Government
main idea 1 the enlightenment influenced some monarchies
In the 1600s, kings, queens, and emperors ruled Europe. Many of these rulers believed that they ruled by divine right, or by God’s will. Main Idea 1:The Enlightenment influenced some monarchies.
the enlightenment s influence on monarchies
The Enlightenment’s Influence on Monarchies

Divine Right

  • Most rulers believed that they ruled by divine right.
  • They believed that God had given them the right to rule as they chose.
  • They believed they shouldn’t be limited by bodies such as England’s parliament.

Enlightened Despots

  • A despot is a ruler with absolute power. The enlightened despots tried to make life better for commoners in order to make their countries stronger.
  • Frederick II of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia were two such rulers.
democratic ideas
Three Enlightenment thinkers developed new ideas to identify the best possible form of government.

John Locke was an English philosopher who argued that government was a contract between the rulers and the people. Government is for the good of the people.

Charles-Louis Montesquieu, a Frenchman, believed that government should be divided into separate branches in order to limit its power.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was also French, criticized the power of divine right. He believed that government should express the will of the people.

Democratic Ideas
main idea 3 in america the enlightenment inspired a struggle for independence
The ideas of these three philosophers spread throughout Europe. From Europe the ideas spread to the British colonists in North America. Main Idea 3:In America, the Enlightenment inspired a struggle for independence.
british policy in north america
The British and the French both had colonies in North America.

The two countries had many disagreements that eventually led to war. This war cost England a lot of money.

The English decided to tax the colonies to make up for the cost of the war. People in England did not have to pay the tax.

The colonists thought that this was unfair, and that they should have the same rights as British citizens.

British Policy in North America
the colonists
Many colonial leaders were familiar with the ideas of the Enlightenment.

Two leaders in particular—Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson—would apply those ideas to the colonists’ situation.

Franklin argued for the rights of the colonists. He believed the British were practicing “taxation without representation.”

Jefferson also believed that the British did not have the right to impose taxes on the colonists.

Both of these men were leaders in the American Revolution, and Jefferson later became president of the United States.

The Colonists
the age of revolution
The Big Idea

Revolutions changed the governments of Britain, the American colonies, and France.

Main Ideas

Revolution and reform changed the government of England.

Enlightenment ideas led to democracy in America.

The French Revolution caused major changes in France’s government.

The Age of Revolution
revolution and reform in england
Revolution and Reform in England

The king of England and Parliament had a very uneasy relationship. This led to years of turmoil and changes in leadership.

William and Mary eventually became the rulers of England, after they promised to sign the English Bill of Rights.

The English Bill of Rights drew on the ideas of the Magna Carta, limiting the power of the rulers and recognizing some rights of the people.

main idea 2 enlightenment ideas led to democracy in america
Although the power of the monarchs was limited in England, it was not limited in North America. Colonists there grew increasingly unhappy with both the king and Parliament. Main Idea 2:Enlightenment ideas led to democracy in America.
the american revolution
Some of the colonists disliked the laws and taxes that the British government imposed.

This led to protests and unrest among the colonists. The colonists met during the First Continental Congress and decided to resist the British.

Fighting began in 1775, and in 1776 the colonial leaders met again and drafted the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence stated the people’s right to certain liberties. The document begins with a sentence that expresses the ideas of the Enlightenment about natural rights.

The American Revolution
main idea 3 the french revolution caused major changes in france s government
As Americans fought for and created a new nation, the French paid close attention to these events. They were inspired by the Americans to fight for their own rights.Main Idea 3:The French Revolution caused major changes in France’s government.
the french social system
The French king ruled over a society split into groups called estates.

Clergy were members of the First Estate, and nobles were members of the Second Estate, but most people belonged to the Third Estate.

The Third Estate paid the highest taxes and had the fewest privileges.

The Third Estate formed its own group, called the National Assembly, and some of its members were familiar with Enlightenment ideas.

This group demanded that the king accept a constitution limiting his powers.

The French Social System
the fall of the bastille
When King Louis refused to give in to the demands of the National Assembly the common people of France stormed a Paris prison, the Bastille. This began the French Revolution.

The revolution spread throughout France, and the National Assembly wrote a constitution. It was called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

The king was forced to accept the constitution, but it was not enough. King Louis was put on trial and executed.

After the revolution, the Reign of Terror began, and France was in turmoil for many years.

The revolution was not a complete loss. Eventually France developed a democratic government.

The Fall of the Bastille