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Philosophers

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  1. Philosophers

  2. Cesare Bonesana Beccaria • Laws exist to preserve social order, not to avenge crimes. • Governments should seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people. • A person accused of a crime should receive a speedy trial, and that torture should never be used.

  3. Thomas Hobbes • Social Contract-People give up their rights to a strong ruler. • Government must have absolute power, (leviathan) • One that could impose order and demand obedience.

  4. John Locke • People can govern themselves. • Governments role is to protect natural rights, if the government fails to do so, citizens have the right to overthrow it. • Influenced the struggles for liberty in Europe and the Americas.

  5. Charles-Louis Montesquieu • Separation of Powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control of the government. • Each branch would have a check on the other two. • The Basis of the US Constitution.

  6. Social Contract- a government freely formed by the people and guided by the “general will” of society. Legitimate government comes from the consent of the governed. All people were equal and titles of nobility should be abolished. Inspired many of the leaders of the French Revolution. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  7. Voltaire • Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of religious belief, and freedom of speech. • Influenced the US Bill of Rights and French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens.

  8. Mary Wollstonecraft • Women need education to become virtuous and useful. • Women should have the right to participate in politics. • Influenced women’s rights groups in Europe and North America.

  9. Thomas Jefferson • Free Speech, religious freedom, and other civil liberties. • “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” • Author of the Declaration of Independence.

  10. James Madison • Three Branches of Government. • Federal System- Power is divided between federal and state governments. • Father of the US Constitution.

  11. Inspired by Enlightenment thinkers to rebel against Spain. Followed the British and American systems of government in creating the Republic of Venezuela. Simon Bolivar