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The Enlightenment
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  1. The Enlightenment “Dare to Know” 1550-1789

  2. What is the Enlightenment?Where is it from? • Europe • Scientific Revolution- Descartes and Newton • Laws of Nature- Govern the Universe (Gravity) • Political thinkers Philosophes developed ideas about how best to organize a government. (influenced by the Scientific Revolution- Laws of Nature) • They believed- Government should follow the laws of Nature- • Man in a state of Nature (born in nature) develops in common ways. (freedom, pursuit of happiness) • The Enlightenment is a reaction against Absolutism. • The best government is one that allow for man to have Natural Rights

  3. Which Enlightenment thinkers most influenced the American Revolutionaries? • Leaders of the Movement • Thomas Hobbes (English) 1588-1679 • John Locke (English) 1632-1704 • Montesquieu (French)1689-1755 • Voltaire (French)1694-1778 • Rousseau (French)1712-1778

  4. Thomas Hobbes • Believed that absolute monarchy was the best form of government. • He believed that man is naturally violent, disorderly and needs control= Absolute Government • Book was called Leviathan without Absolute government life would be "nasty, brutish, and short." • Hobbesian Social Contract: • People give obedience and the ruler gives protection and order. • People do not have the right to rebel against their government no matter how unjust it was.

  5. John Locke • Believed in natural law. Or the idea that there were laws of nature that applied to humans. • He believed that people are naturally reasonable and moral, and that they have natural rights to life, liberty and property. • The Lockean Social Contract: idea that the people and their government have a contract. Each gives something in exchange for something. • People give allegiance and loyalty. -- Government gives rights, order, and justice. • He believed that these rights should always exist and if a government does not protect these rights then the contract between the people and the government is broken and the people have a right to rebel. • American Revolutionaries used these ideas.

  6. Baron de Montesquieu • Wrote a book The Spirit of the Laws, • Promoted the idea of a government with separation of powers. • Executive Branch: to enforce the laws • Legislative Branch: to make the laws • Judicial Branch: to interpret the laws, or make sure they are fair. (Supreme Court) • Thought that individual rights should be protected.

  7. “Absolute power, corrupts absolutely!”

  8. Rousseau • French Author and thinker. • Believed that the (Popular Sovereignty) power to rule belonged to the people, and governments should receive their authority from the people. • Believed that people had the right to rise up against their government and carry out needed changes. • "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains."

  9. Voltaire (1694-1778) • French Author and thinker. • Believed in religious freedom and freedom ofspeech. • "I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." • "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." • "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be."