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The Age of Enlightenment. 1700s-1800s. The Age of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment , a philosophical movement beginning in France that advocated Reason and logic as the basis of authority and all decisions and using reason and logic to solve social problems. The Age of Enlightenment.

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the age of enlightenment2
The Age of Enlightenment
  • The Enlightenment, a philosophical movement beginning in France that advocated Reason and logic as the basis of authority and all decisions and using reason and logic to solve social problems
the age of enlightenment3
The Age of Enlightenment
  • Many of the United States' Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by Enlightenment-era ideas:(1600s-1800s)
    • particularly in the religious sphere (separation of church and state)
    • And in the political sphere (a major influence on the U.S. Bill of Rights
the age of enlightenment4
The Age of Enlightenment

Heavily influenced by the Scientific Revolution in Europe during the 1600s

  • Scientific Revolution: the time period where scientists in Europe began to observe, hypothesize, and experiment to reach conclusions about the natural world

Challenged prevailing religious beliefs and the Catholic Church’s authority on all things relating to the natural world:

Ex Galileo was excommunicated from the Church for arguing that the Earth revolved around the sun (Helio-centered universe) instead of other way around

Developed the Scientific Method


Enlightenment philosophers who met to discuss reason, logic, rationale, and how to solve social problems

believed in using the scientific method to solve social problems

were against Divine Right and believed the people are the source of government’s power

met in underground clubs called Salons

who were the philosophes so mad at
Who Were the Philosophes So Mad at?
  • King Louis XIV of France (r. 1643- 1715

“The Sun King”

king louis xiv the sun king
King Louis XIV (“The Sun King”)
  • Ruled France as an absolute monarch in control of every aspect of every French citizen’s life
  • Believed his entire kingdom revolved solely around him: called himself “The Sun King”
king louis xiv the sun king8
King Louis XIV (“The Sun King”)
  • Lived a lavish life funded by heavy taxes on most of his subjects
  • Most of his subjects lived in poverty with barely enough to eat
king louis xiv the sun king9
King Louis XIV (“The Sun King”)
  • Believed in Divine Right: Believed God anointed him king so he was only responsible to answer to God, not to his subjects
palace of versailles
Palace of Versailles

Became the French capital

12 miles outside of Paris

Really angered the Philosophes

  • Built 1671-1682 by

King Louis XIV

Shows how out of touch and

insincere King Louis XIV was

towards his subjects

thomas hobbes
Thomas Hobbes

● 1588-1679

● British Philosopher

● Believed humans were naturally wicked

thomas hobbes12
Thomas Hobbes
  • Believed human beings were naturally wicked
  • Believed human beings could not be trusted to make decisions to benefit all, only to benefit themselves
  • Believed an absolute monarch was necessary to protect human beings from each other (Humans not capable of self rule)
hobbes leviathan and social contract
Hobbes: Leviathan and Social Contract

Argued that the only way to avoid war, chaos, disarray was a strong central ruler

Argued that the people and the leader had a Social Contract

Hobbes’ Social Contract: people give up their rights to an absolute ruler in exchange for protection, law, and order. People do not have the right to rebel

Wrote Leviathan1651

jean jacque rousseau
Jean Jacque Rousseau

● Swiss Philosopher

● 1712-1778

● Also had a “Social Contract”

● Wrote The Social Contract

Book in 1762

  • Believed humans were naturally good and corrupted by society, not the other way around (as Hobbes believed)
  • Believed society forces people to compete brining out the worst in people
  • Believed government forces people to distrust each other and takes freedoms away
  • Believed modern technology made people too dependent on one another
  • Believed dependency created inequality, social classes, division
rousseau s social contract
Rousseau’s Social Contract

The Social Contract: published 1762

Believed that the people are the source of government powers

Believed government’s job was to help people be happy and needs cared for

Believed if government did not do its job people had the right to remove leaders, rebel

hobbes rousseau s social contracts

People are naturally wicked

People need to surrender their independence to an absolute leader in exchange for law and order

People do not have the right to rebel


People start out good and become corrupted by society

People are the source of government’s power

Government needs to help people

People can rebel if leaders fail to do their job

Hobbes’ & Rousseau's Social Contracts
baron montesquieu
Baron Montesquieu
  • 1689-1755
  • French Philosopher
  • Believed government’s

power needs to be checked

baron montesquieu20
Baron Montesquieu
  • Believed in 3 types of governments:

● Monarchies: ruled by a king/queen guided by honor

● Republics: ruled by elected officials guided by virtue

● Despotisms: ruled by absolute dictators guided by fear

baron montesquieu21
Baron Montesquieu
  • Separation of Powers
  • Believed power in government had to be divided amongst different branches
  • Believed checks and balances are necessary to keep one branch from becoming too powerful
  • Believed the people needed safeguards from government becoming too powerful
  • Heavily influenced America’s founding fathers 1770’s-1780’s
  • 3 Branches of Gov’t included in US Constitution
john locke
John Locke
  • 1632-1704
  • British Philosopher
  • Believed all people were

born with 3 natural rights

(Life, Liberty, Property)

john locke24
John Locke
  • Believed people are born with minds as a blank slate to be filled up: not naturally good or bad
  • Believed it was human nature to want to figure things out and to want to make sense of the world around you
  • Disagreed with Hobbes that people are naturally wicked
  • Believed humans were reasonable creatures capable of figuring out anything
locke s 3 natural rights
Locke’s 3 Natural Rights
  • Locke believed all people born with 3 Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, and Property
  • Locke’s Natural Rights heavily influenced America’s founders
  • Natural Rights included in US Declaration of Independence (Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness)
voltaire 1694 1778
Voltaire 1694-1778
  • French Philosopher
  • Staunch supporter

of individual



Known for his wit and nonconformity

Believed that organized formal religion was too constricting

Was opposed to organized religions criticizing other faiths and practitioners

But did believe in freedom of religion

  • Staunch supporter of right to a fair trial

Heavily influenced

leaders of the French


  • Was opposed to censorship: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it."
mary wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • 1759-1797
  • British philosopher,

author, and feminist

mary wollstonecraft30
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • 1792 wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • Argued women are not naturally

inferior to men; they just suffer

from lack of educational


mary wollstonecraft31
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Argued that men and women should be treated as equal beings
  • Argued that social order should be determined by reason (usefulness) not by gender, race, wealth, etc.
mary wollstonecraft32
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Argued that society trains women to be weak and more concerned with their superficial looks than contributions to society
  • Argued that women should receive the same type and quality of education as men
  • Argued it was a problem that men were so comfortable with treating women as inferiors
mary wollstonecraft33
Mary Wollstonecraft

Argued that proper education for women will solve their problems

Argued women must be given the opportunity to participate in the public sphere as much as the private sphere

Most Enlightenment Philosophes did not agree with her about the roles of women and education for women

She was a feminist long before it was acceptable

She inspired numerous later generations of feminists in numerous countries

queen elizabeth i the virgin queen
Queen Elizabeth I (“The Virgin Queen”)
  • 1533-1603
  • Was Queen of


Most powerful Queen in

European History

Believed in Divine Right

queen elizabeth i the virgin queen35
Queen Elizabeth I (“The Virgin Queen”)
  • Believed in Divine Right but believed her subjects were like her children and she had to take care of them
  • Never got married or had children: challenged the popular belief that women had to marry
queen elizabeth i the virgin queen36
Queen Elizabeth I (“The Virgin Queen”)
  • Even though she believed in Divine Right she still saw the need to rule with reason
  • She settled decades-long religious tension in England (Catholics vs. Protestants)
  • The Philosophes saw her as an inspiration to other monarchs: be an Enlightened ruler