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Chapter 5: The Enlightenment

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1 Chapter 5: The Enlightenment

2 Section I: Philosophy in the Age of Reason
Prior to the Enlightenment era, the Church and members of nobility made decisions as to what was acceptable and proper in terms of society and government. Soon people began to realize that through the use of reason, people in government could solve every social, political, and economic problem.

3 I. Scientific Revolution Sparks the Enlightenment
A. Natural Law – Laws of conduct discoverable by reason. Science proved that there were natural laws that covered gravity, and magnetism. Therefore, they should be able to use natural laws to better understand social, economic, and political problems. Great thinkers reasoned that if science could solve scientific problems, then those same methods could be used to solve other types of issues

4 The Scientific Revolution led to a new era of thinking called The Enlightenment Era – A new era of thought where people used science and reasoning to answer questions about many issues facing people..rather than leaning on nobility or clergy to solve issues.

5 II. Hobbes and Locke have Conflicting Views
Thomas Hobbes – Enlightenment era thinker and author of “Leviathan”. Said that people were naturally greedy, cruel, and selfish and if they were not strictly controlled they would fight, rob, and oppress one another. He further stated that without strong leadership life would be “brutish” Social Contract – An agreement where people agree to give up certain freedoms to live in an organized society. Hobbes believed that only a powerful government could ensure and orderly society. Example: An Absolute Monarchy where order would be imposed and obedience demanded.

6 Locke’s ideas would be a major part of the American Revolution.
B. John Locke – Enlightenment era thinker and author of “Two Treaties of Government”. Argued that people form governments to protect their natural rights. Natural Rights – Rights that belonged to humans from birth. Believed that the best form of government was had limited power and was accepted by all citizens. Did not believe in an Absolute Monarchy. Had radical ideas… Government has an obligation to the people they govern. If government fails to protect the natural rights then the people have the right to overthrow the government. Locke’s ideas would be a major part of the American Revolution.

7 III. The Philosophes Philosophes – Enlightenment era thinkers who believed they could apply the methods of science to understand and improve society.

8 A. Montesquieu Advances the Idea of Separation of Powers
1. Baron de Montesquieu – Early and influential thinker of the enlightenment era. Author of The Spirit of the Laws - Discussion of governments throughout history. felt the best way to protect liberty was to divide the various functions and powers of the government among three branches (legislative, executive, and judicial). Each branch should serve as a check on the other two. This book became a very strong part of the foundation of American democracy.

9 B. Voltaire Defends Freedom of Thought
Voltaire = Francois-Marie Arouet Used his pen to voice his sharp wit to attack unjust governments. Attacked what he thought was unfair in society. Angered the French government and Catholic Church..was imprisoned and eventually exiled from France. Regarded as one of the most influential of the philosophes.

10 Philosophers of the Enlightenment Video Clip (3:23)

11 C. Dierdot Edits the Encyclopedia
1. Denis Dierdot – Wrote a 28 volume of books known as the Encyclopedia. contained articles by leading thinkers of the times The French government claimed the book was an attack on public morals and the Catholic Church threatened to excommunicate Catholics who read it.

12 D. Rousseau Promotes the Social Contract
John-Jacques Rousseau – Believed that people in their natural state are basically good. BUT they eventually became corrupted by the evils of society. Believed that the good of society should be above individual interests.

13 IV. New Economic Thinking
Physiocrats – French Philosophes who focused their energies on economic reforms based on natural law. Laissez Faire Replaces Mercantilism * laissez faire – French term that loosely means “Let the people do as they wish”. * during this era it meant to allow businesses to operate with little or no interference.

14 C. Smith Argues for a Free Market
Adam Smith – Scottish economist who believed in the ideas of a free market system. Author of “The Wealth of Nations”. Believed that the free market should be allowed to regulate business activity. Tried to show how supply and demand controlled manufacturing, trade, profits, and economic growth. He supported laissez faire, but said that government had the duty to protect society and administer justice. What is supply and Demand Video Clip (5:58)

15 Section II: Enlightenment Ideas Spread
Paris, France was the heart of the Enlightenment and the ideas birthed there spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world..

16 I. New Ideas Challenge Society
Thinkers around the world read Dierdo’s “Encyclopedia” and the many pamphlets that floated throughout Europe. During the Middle Ages, people blindly accepted what the Church taught as fact. People now were questioning the Church’s ideas

17 A. Writers Face Censorship
censorship – Restricting access to ideas and information. Many government and church leaders felt obligated to protect and preserve the “old order” or past ways of doing things. To do this, they banned or burned books and even had Enlightenment Era writers imprisoned. Many writers of the era often hid their lessons in works of fiction.

18 B. Ideas Spread in Salons
Salons – Informal social gatherings of writers, artists, philosophes and others who exchanged ideas. Middle class citizens could meet with nobility on equal ground to spread the ideas of the Enlightenment.

19 II. Arts and Literature Reflect New Ideas
A. From Grandeur to Charm Baroque – Artistic style that features huge colorful art in the Greek and Roman tradition. glorified ancient battles and the lives of saints. Rococo – Artistic style that was lighter, brighter, and more elegant. Moved away from religious tones and into anything other than religious. Considered superficial by many, but still better than Baroque

20 Baroque Vs Rococo

21 . Enlightenment Ideas Inspire Composers
Classical music – New musical style that came about and soon dominated European life. Johann Sebastian Bach – German composer who wrote many operas and musical pieces. Bach’s Influence on Music (3:38)

22 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Child prodigy who became well known throughout Europe.
The music of the composers of this era lives on today. Mozart Clip (3:56)

23 III. Enlightened Despots Embrace New Ideas
Enlightened Despots – Absolute rulers who used their powers to bring about political and social change. These Monarchs supported the Enlightenment Others did not accept these ideas and tried to stifle them.

24 B. Frederick II Attempts Reform
Frederick II – Also known as Frederick the Great during his reign as King of Prussia. Saw himself as a servant of the state Openly praised the writing of Enlightenment thinkers even inviting them to visit with him. Desired a more strong rule for himself personally, but got rid of torture and religious persecution in his kingdoms.

25 C. Catherine the Great Studies Philosophes Works
Empress of Russia in 1762 LOVED the works of Enlightenment authors..even exchanging correspondence. abolished torture, made limited reforms to laws and governments, ordered religious tolerance. STILL not interested in anything that limited her real power.

26 D. Joseph II Continues Reform
Monarch of Austria who traveled in disguise in his own empire to learn of the problems of his people. Supported religious equality for Protestants & Jews in his Catholic Empire. Ended censorship by granting freedom of press. Brought Catholic Church under control..and sold much of their properties. abolished serfdom Many of these reforms were abolished once he died.

27 IV. Lives of the Majority Change Slowly
Most Europeans were untouched by middle class or nobility class…which were the smallest groups in society. Most Europeans lived as peasants By the late 1700’s and early 1800’s ideas of equality and social justice had begun to creep into peasant villages. Many peasants were actually not in a hurry to make the changes that came about…why?

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