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The Enlightenment. In this lesson, students will be able to define the following terms: The Enlightenment Voltaire Adam Smith Catherine the Great. The Enlightenment was an important movement in Europe during the 18 th century. Enlightenment Thinkers.

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The Enlightenment


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    1. The Enlightenment In this lesson, students will be able to define the following terms: The Enlightenment Voltaire Adam Smith Catherine the Great E. Napp

    2. The Enlightenment was an important movement in Europe during the 18th century. E. Napp

    3. Enlightenment Thinkers • Enlightenment thinkers were influenced by the Scientific Revolution. • They believed that by applying reason and scientific laws, people could better understand both nature and society. • They believed that scientific reasoning could be applied to society. E. Napp

    4. Enlightenment thinkers wanted to make the world a better place. E. Napp

    5. Improving Society • Enlightenment thinkers hoped to apply scientific reasoning to improve society. • Enlightenment thinkers frequently questioned the power of the Roman Catholic Church as well as divine right. • Enlightenment ideas were adopted in the American Declaration of Independence. E. Napp

    6. Voltaire was a French philosopher. He strongly supported freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial. E. Napp

    7. Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that government should express the will of the people. E. Napp

    8. Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher. He observed changes occurring in the marketplace. He discovered the rules of the free market. E. Napp

    9. In a free market, individuals are free to buy and sell. The government does not intervene. Competition and self-interest ensure the goods people need at fair prices. E. Napp

    10. Like scientists, Enlightenment thinkers carefully observed society and looked for principles best suited for its functioning. E. Napp

    11. Even some monarchs, like Russia’s Catherine the Great, tried to apply Enlightenment ideas to improve society. E. Napp

    12. However, Catherine would not part with any of her absolute power. E. Napp

    13. Enlightenment thinkers believed that reasoning and scientific laws could make the world a better place. E. Napp

    14. Questions for Reflection: • How did the Scientific Revolution influence the Enlightenment? • What were the goals of Enlightenment thinkers? • Who was Voltaire and what did he believe? • Describe Adam Smith’s observations of the free market. • What aspect of the Enlightenment did Catherine the Great not accept? E. Napp