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The Enlightenment in Europe . Can reasonable laws apply to human behavior?. Tow views on government. Hobbes – people are naturally selfish and an absolute monarchy is needed to create order and obedience

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the enlightenment in europe

The Enlightenment in Europe

Can reasonable laws apply to human behavior?

tow views on government
Tow views on government
  • Hobbes – people are naturally selfish and an absolute monarchy is needed to create order and obedience
    • Social Contract = People give up their rights to a strong leader in order to have an orderly government
    • John Locke – people can learn from experiences and improve themselves; favored self-government and thought government should protect peoples’ natural rights:
      • Life
      • Liberty
      • Property
french philosophes advocate reason
French Philosophes Advocate Reason
  • Philosophe = French word for philosophers
  • Five major concepts that the philosophes focused on:
    • Reason – truth can be discovered through reason
    • Nature – nature is good and reasonable
    • Happiness – people who live by nature’s laws will find happiness and well-being ON earth (not just in the afterlife)
    • Progress – society can and should improve
    • Liberty – through wisdom and reason, society will be set free
voltaire combats intolerance
I wonder if his hair smelled?

Used satire to combat ignorance

Often targeted the clergy, the aristocracy and the government

Liked the English government

Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of speech and freedom of religion

“crush the evil thing!” was the way he ended his letters. Weird, huh?

Voltaire combats intolerance
montesquieu and rousseau
Montesquieu advocated separation of powers in government (modern day checks and balances)

Rousseau thought civilization corrupted people

Advocated direct democracy

Montesquieu and Rousseau
beccaria promotes criminal justice
Published book On Crimes and Punishment – wanted speedy trials and better treatment for prisoners

Wanted torture and capital punishment abolished

Punishment should fit the crime

Influenced modern criminal law reform in Europe and North America

Beccaria promotes criminal justice
women and the enlightenment
Women and the Enlightenment
  • Women were still expected to be good wives and mothers, and many men thought that educated women would be idle and wicked
  • Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Women – argued that women needed education to be useful and virtuous, and advocated women’s participation in government
  • Many wealthy women helped spread Enlightenment ideas by having big social gatherings
impact of the enlightenment
Education makes mothers better mothers right? That’s what Mary thought -

Enlightenment = big deal b/c people examined such principles as the divine right of monarchs, the union of church and state and unequal social classes and found them unreasonable

Many thoughts impacted French and American Revolutions and our current views on politics

Impact of the Enlightenment