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Unit 4 Enlightenment and Absolutism Lesson 8 The Age of Reason (UKNOW)

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1 Unit 4 Enlightenment and Absolutism Lesson 8 The Age of Reason (UKNOW)

2 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) Learning Targets 1. To describe Newton’s theory of Universal Laws of Man 2. To compare and contrast the different perspectives of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes 3. To describe the influence of Voltaire 4. To illustrate and explain the influence of Baron de Montesquieu on Western democratic governments 5. To describe the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau

3 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) Background Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation showed how laws of science applied to the universe and he also showed how to use mathematics to describe the law. With his law, Newton proved two things. First, with good information, people can correctly predict the movement of any falling object on Earth. Second, they can also correctly predict the movement of the moon and the planets. Newton used reason to discover these new ideas; he discovered a mathematical laws that controls the movement of planets and other objects in space.

4 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) What is the Age of Reason? People who believed in scientific reasoning called themselves “enlightened” thinkers. They had found the light! No longer did they walk in the darkness of ignorance, or lack of knowledge. Enlightened thinkers asked difficult questions. They searched for the truth about how nature and human societies really work. Newton began the Age of Reason. During this age, many enlightened thinkers had three goals. 1.They wanted to improve how people lived 2.They wanted to think clearly and logically, without letting their feelings guide them. 3.They wanted to use scientific reasoning to examine every part of society – education, religion, economics, law and government.

5 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) U – Universal Laws  People began to look at the universe as a huge clock  They believed the universe was predictable and that people can discover what will happen in the universe  Scientists used scientific reasoning to find truth about nature and the universe  Non-Scientists believed that the same natural laws could be applied to human behavior as well, which could be used to solve problems in society

6 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) Background The enlightenment thinkers of the Age of Reason asked questions about government. What is as the best form of government? Are there natural laws that people should follow in setting up a government? These thinkers used logic and reason o find answers. For this target we must examine several individuals: John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Baron de Montesquieu, and Jean Jacques Rousseau

7 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) K – Knowledge of Man  1651, Thomas Hobbes published a book on government (Leviathan)  According to Hobbes, people lived without government as lawless and corrupt and agreed to give up freedom for order and safety  Hobbes argued that an agreement exists between the ruler and the ruled  People agreed to obey the rulers and they should be given absolute authority  For Hobbes, order was more important than freedom

8 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) K – Knowledge of Man  1690, John Locke published a book on government (Two Treatises of Government)  Locke agreed that government was a contract between the ruler and the ruled and should promote order  Locke disagreed that man was lawless and corrupt but said if given the chance they would act orderly  Locke also argued that people had natural rights (rights they were born with) life, liberty, and property  The job of government, according to Locke, was to protect the rights of the people and if it failed it should be replaced

9 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) N – Need for Rights  Voltaire and enlightened French thinker influenced western society  He criticized the wealth and privileges of French kings and nobles and said “all men are brothers under God”  Voltaire defended a person’s right to think and say anything  “I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.”  Freedom of speech, press, and religion were rights that belonged to every person

10 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) O – Order of Powers  Baron de Montesquieu studied the government of ancient Rome  Montesquieu said spirit held the government together, fear kept the dictator in office, honor, or keeping promises, kept the monarchs ruling  He believed that monarchs should use their wealth and power for the good of everyone  He stated virtue, or goodness, held a republic together and the people need to elect people who would serve the good of the community

11 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) O – Order of Powers  Montesquieu admired the English government of the 1700’s and modeled his idea of government around it: 1.Parliament made the laws 2.The king enforced the laws 3.The courts interpreted the laws.  Montesquieu said that separating these powers kept each of the three branches from becoming too powerful  Each branch checked and balanced the powers of the other two branches

12 The Age of Reason (UKNOW) W – Written Contracts  Jean Jacques Rousseau said that people were born good, but civilization makes them do bad things  Rousseau argued that no one should have special privileges or rights - All men are born equal.  Rousseau argued people made an agreement with each other as a community who shared customs “general will”, not with a ruler.  He stated the general will or majority of people should rule which forced the minority into freedom


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