the enlightenment and the american revolution
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The enlightenment and the American Revolution. 1700-1800. The enlightenment. (5-1) I. Philosophy in the Age of Reason A) Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment B) Hobbs & Locke have conflicting views C) Philosophes (fee loh ZOHFS) D) New Economic Thinking

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the enlightenment

The enlightenment

(5-1) I. Philosophy in the Age of Reason

A) Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment

B) Hobbs & Locke have conflicting views

C) Philosophes (fee loh ZOHFS)

D) New Economic Thinking

Adam Smith’s Law of Supply & Demand

the enlightenment1

The enlightenment

New ideas in government and politics

People began questioning the need for all powerful Kings

Can people choose leaders for themselves?

“All people are created equal”

New (and potentially dangerous) concept – Dangerous to who?

prior to this time

Prior to this time




suddenly it became

Suddenly it became




The shift from the idea of Divine Right of Kings to the Social Contract Theory was influenced by the Enlightened Philosophers.

what is philosophy
What is philosophy?

Philosophy is the love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge

  • The Philosophes (fee loh ZOHFS) were a group of enlightened thinkers in France who applied the methods of science to understand and improve society. SEEKING & STUDYING WISDOM
  • They believed that the use of reason could lead to reforms of government, law, and society.
madame geoffrin s paris salon
Madame Geoffrin’s Paris salon

Today, where do people go to exchange ideas, debate, and chat?

Enlightenment ideas –

what did they mean?

It was all about government and the role in played in people’s lives.

scientific revolution sparks the enlightenment
Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment

In the wake of the Scientific Revolution came the Enlightenment. This was an era in which people used reason to try to understand more about human behavior and solve the problems of society.

Hobbes and Locke Had Conflicting Views

English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke both wrote about society and the ideal form of governing it. Hobbes thought people needed strict control to rein in their naturally brutish tendencies. Locke thought people were moral at heart and were entitled to certain natural rights, which governments were obliged to protect.

the matter forme power of a commonwealth

The matter, forme, & Power of a commonwealth

Thomas hobbes

Observation: people are generally bad

Life without a strong government is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Hypothesis: Absolute government is needed to control evil behavior

two treatises of government

Two Treatises of government

John Locke

Observation: government exists to: “preserve life, liberty, and property.”

People had certain “natural rights” or rights that belonged to all humans from birth

Hypothesis: People should be sovereign (rule)

Hypothesis: Monarch not chosen by God

what were they thinking

What were they thinking?

They did not always agree with one another!

new economic thinking

New economic thinking

Economists also applied reason to their study of economics during the Enlightenment. Adam Smith and a group of French thinkers called physiocrats urged economies that operated with little government control.

physiocrats vs the mercantilists

Physiocratsvs the mercantilists

  • Mercantilists
  • Favored government regulation
  • Believed in building wealth through trade
  • Physiocrats (Adam Smith & friends)
  • Opposed government regulation
  • Believed in building wealth through land productivity
immanuel kant
Immanuel kant
  • “Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. SapereAude! [Dare to know!] Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.”
the spirit of laws

The spirit of laws

Baron de Montesquieu

  • (MAHN tuskyoo)

Observation: The best way to protect liberty was to divide the various functions and powers of the government among three branches

Each branch of government should be able to serve as a check on the other two

where have you seen this before

Where have you seen this before?

  • Montesquieu (MAHN tuskyoo)
Montesquieu influenced the U.S. Constitution

The Constitution sets up three branches of Government, just as Montesquieu recommended.

my trade is to say what i think

“My trade is to say what I think”



Criticized powerful institutions for being unjust

Targeted corrupt officials and idle aristocrats

Supported freedom of speech

Imprisoned and forced into exile, books outlawed and burned

“I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”

What was Voltaire’s opinion on the relationship between religion and the government?

There should be “separation of church and state”

the social contract

The social contract

Jean-Jacques rousseau

Despised political and economic oppression

People in their natural state were basically good

Their natural innocence was corrupted by the evils of society, making it restrictive

Advocated the will of the majority and the common good



Trusted aristocrats

Loved the theater

Courted the aristocrats

Wary of revolution

Equality was impossible

Charmed with his wit

Insisted on the supremacy of the intellect

Endlessly repeated the same handful of core Enlightenment notions

  • Distrusted aristocrats because he believed they were betraying decent traditional values
  • Opposed the theater
  • Shunned the aristocracy
  • Argued for democratic revolution
  • Argued that inequality was unnatural, and when taken too far, made decent government impossible
  • Insisted on his correctness, even while contradicting himself
  • Free with original thoughts in all directions: ideas about education, the family, government, the arts, and whatever else attracted his attention
what were the effects of the enlightenment
What were the effects of the enlightenment?

(Use AN acronym)

  • F.A.S.T.


Fueled democratic revolutions around world (American, French)

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

Bastille: The French Revolution begins July 14, 1789

the enlightenment2

The enlightenment

(5-2) II. Enlightenment Ideas Spread

A) New ideas challenge society

B) Arts and literature reflect new meanings

C) Enlightened despots embrace new ideas

D) Lives of the majority change slowly

New Ideas Challenge Society

While churches and monarchies tried to stop the flow of Enlightenment ideas through censorship, Enlightenment thinkers found new ways of spreading their ideas, such as through novels and salons.

Arts and Literature Reflect New Ideas

The Enlightenment saw the birth of new styles in art, music, and literature. Painters embraced the lighter and more informal rococo style; composers, too, moved away from the baroque and into rococo and classical music. This was evidenced in the works of Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. In literature, the novel was king as audiences devoured long stories about their own times.

reading from moliere artist jean francois de troy depicts a salon of the french enlightenment
"Reading from Moliere," artist Jean Francois de Troy depicts a salon of the French Enlightenment.
George Frideric


New ideas reflected in Music

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Franz joseph hayden
What new form of literature evolved during the Age of Enlightenment?

The novel

This is how philosophesand writers avoided censorship…

disguising ideas in works of fiction

What was significant about Don Quixote?

It was the first novel

(fiction-- not a true story)

Cervantes was from Spain

Enlightened Despots Embrace New Ideas

Some absolute rulers of the time adopted limited reforms inspired by Enlightenment ideas. For instance Frederick II of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia, and Joseph II of Austria all showed religious tolerance. Still the monarchs were not willing to share their power.

Lives of the Majority Change Slowly

It wasn’t until the late 1700s that Enlightenment ideas spread through Europe’s peasant classes. In time, these ideas, in combination with war and economic troubles, would bring the masses to revolt.