Also known as “The Age of Reason” • Scientific Revolution paved the way as Natural Laws that applied to nature were now Natural Rights that applied to society. • Led to discovery of the world outside of Europe and the Columbian Exchange • Enlightened philosophers (aka philosophies in French) and writers
Thomas Hobbes • The Leviathan publish in 1651. • Without government, people would constantly be fighting amongst themselves. • Life without government would be "poor, nasty, brutish, and short." • The purpose of government is to ensure peace and security through whatever means necessary. • Government is a contract between citizens and their ruler. In this contract, citizens give up rights for the guarantee of peace and security. • The best government is one in which the ruler has absolute power. • People never have the right to rebel.
John Locke • Government is a contract between citizens and their rulers. • People have a natural right to life, liberty, and property. • The purpose of government is: • to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. • to create order in society. • Citizens have the right to rebel against a government that does not respect the rights of its citizens. • Rulers should stay in power only as long as they have the consent of the people they govern. • Locke’s ideas influenced authors of US Declaration of Independence and French revolutionaries in the 1790s.
VoltaireFrançois-Marie Arouet • Considered the most important of the enlightenment philosophers • Prolific writer; His satire Candide is his most famous work. • Fought for tolerance, reason, and freedom of thought, expression, and religious belief • Twice imprisoned in the Bastille
Fought against prejudice and superstition • Deism: system of thought that denies the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe. • Freedom of thought is most important: "I do not agree with a word you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Baron d’Montesquieu • The Spirit of Laws 1748 • Advocated separation of powers and checks and balances to keep any individual or group from gaining complete control of the government. • One of the greatest influences on the US Constitution.
Rousseau • Swiss philosopher • The Social Contract • Although born good, people are corrupted by society. • Government should be a contract between people, not between the people and a ruler. • People should give up some freedom in favor of the General Will of the people. • People are equal and have a right to individual freedom.
Beccaria • Believed laws existed to preserve social order • Advocated a criminal justice system based on fairness and reason
Adam Smith • A Physiocrat: Natural laws govern the economy. • Wrote The Wealth of Nations • Called for the economic freedom of individuals, by keeping the government from interfering in the economy. • Believed an “invisible hand” (the law of supply and demand and competition) would guide the economy.
Mary Wollstonecraft • Vindication of the Rights of Women • Argued for women’s right to become educated and to participate in politics • Believed women, like men, need education to become virtuous and useful.
Denis Diderot • Spread enlightened thinking in all areas by publishing the Encyclopedia, a 28 volumes of collected knowledge and the new ideas of the Scientific Revolution and the enlightenment • First to use an alphabetical format
How did Enlightenment writers and thinkers set the stage for revolutionary movements? • Encouraged people to judge for themselves what was right or wrong in society • Rely on human reason to solve social problems