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Essential Concepts of the Enlightenment. Terms to know ► Enlightenment ► despotism.

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Presentation on theme: "Essential Concepts of the Enlightenment. Terms to know ► Enlightenment ► despotism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essential Concepts of the Enlightenment

2 Terms to know ► Enlightenment ► despotism

3 People to know ► Thomas Hobbes ► John Locke ► Voltaire ► Montesquieu ► Mary Wollstonecraft ► Jean Jacques Rousseau

4 Why does it matter? ► For one, the major ideas of the Enlightenment exist today in one form or another  Reason, deism, religious toleration, separation of powers, laissez-faire, natural law, social contract, progress  Enlightenment thinkers such as Locke, Rousseau and others influenced Jefferson, Adams and Franklin before the troubles began in the 1770’s.

5 The Enlightenment was influenced by two 17 th century Englishmen ► Sir Isaac Newton ► John Locke

6 Thomas Hobbes ► Wrote the Leviathan a work on political thought written in the disorder of the mid 1600’s. ► Basically Hobbes said that to save themselves from destroying each other they must be ruled by an absolute ruler who possessed unlimited power. Absolute power is needed to preserve order in a society.

7 Hobbes also believed and wrote Before society was organized, human life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Human beings were not guided by reason and moral ideals but by a ruthless struggle for self- preservation.

8 John Locke ► People were molded by the experiences that came through their senses from the surrounding world. ► If environments were changed and people were exposed to the right influences then people could be changed and a new society created.

9 ► Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were greatly influenced by the ideas of John Locke. ► Locke believed that people were born with a blank mind.

10 Hobbes and Locke ► Although these two philosophers disagreed upon certain subjects, they did occasionally agree with one another. ► Locke believed that government should base itself on the people. ► Hobbes said that only a king should reign. ► Both agreed that someone should rule over a country.

11 Just the Facts World History Series: The Age of Enlightenment Search word: enlightenment The Heroes of the Enlightenment: John Locke 0:02:33

12 Montesquieu ► Wrote the Spirit of Laws  In this study of governments, Montesquieu tried to use the scientific method to find the natural laws that govern the social and political relationships of human beings.

13 He identified three basic kinds of governments ► Republics – suitable for small states ► Despotism – appropriate for large states ► Monarchies – appropriate or moderate size states

14 Separation of power ► Montesquieu’s most lasting contribution of political thought was separation of power in government into three branches. ► Legislative, Executive and Judicial ► as well as checks and balances. ► His principles were later worked into the U.S. Constitution

15 Voltaire ► Famous novelist, playwright. ► Especially known for his criticism of Christianity and his strong belief of religious tolerance. ► Voltaire championed deism, an 18 th century religious philosophy based on reason and natural law.

16 Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797 ► Considered by many to be the founder of the European and American movements for women’s rights. ► Women should have equal rights in education as well as economic and political life.

17 Rousseau ► Most famous work – The Social Contract ► Through a social contract and entire society agrees to be governed by its general will. ► Liberty is achieved by begin forced to follow what is best for the “general will” because that is what is best for the community

18 The Enlightenment ► Did not belong exclusively to the nobles and aristocrats but it had great appeal with them. ► Growth of reading ► Ideas were spread through the elegant drawing rooms of the wealthy upper class known as salons.

19 Salons ► Were usually hosted by women of aristocracy. ► The women who hosted the salons were in a position to sway political thought.


21 What political impacts did the Enlightenment have on colonial America? A) Loyalist leaders became more conservative B) It inspired England to be more lenient to the colonists in regards to political policy C) It shaped the thinking of future Revolutionary leaders D) It led to founding of the House of Burgesses

22 Which leader did Hobbes believe should rule? A) A president B) The British Parliament C) A king D) Himself

23 Locke believed that each person came into the world as: A) Gullible, careless, and happy B) Good, independent, and equal C) Bad, dependent, and unequal D) Lying, cheating, stealing scum

24 Which Enlightenment author argued that people were born into a brutish state of nature? A) Edward Gibbon B) Thomas Hobbes C) Adam Smith D) Rene Descartes

25 Locke mostly influenced: A) England’s government B) The United States’ government C) Prussian government D) France’s government

26 Which of the following writers of the Enlightenment helped build a foundation for the beginning of women’s rights with the essay, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”? A) Voltaire B) Wollstonecraft C) Rousseau D) Hobbes

27 The Age of Enlightenment was a time when scholars believed in A) The use of absolution and balance of power B) The use of reason and the scientific method C) The use of capital and making a profit D) The use of intellectual and artistic creativity


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