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The Enlightenment. The Enlightenment - 18th century Major ideas Reason is only infallible guide to knowledge - sense experience The universe works like.

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Presentation on theme: "The Enlightenment. The Enlightenment - 18th century Major ideas Reason is only infallible guide to knowledge - sense experience The universe works like."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Enlightenment

2 The Enlightenment - 18th century Major ideas Reason is only infallible guide to knowledge - sense experience The universe works like a clock Optimistic about the future - man can improve with reason Attacked Calvinist belief, man basically good

3 The Philosophes French word means philosophers were more though, were interested in improving society around them expanded on Locke’s idea of “natural rights” had great confidence in the use of science and reason

4 Gathered in Paris- urban group –salons helped make Enlightenment ideas popular often came from middle class families well-educated concerned about social issues valued clear thinking, wit, and humor

5 Concerned about many social issues urged religious toleration called for freedom of speech and press criticized censorship encouraged education denounced slavery spoke out against torture and cruel and unusual punishment campaigned for better treatment of the mentally ill

6 Enlightenment Thinkers Reexamined society using scientific method. Thought they could use reason to discover natural laws that governed behavior.

7 Thomas Hobbes Lived during England’s Civil War 1651 – The Leviathon Described man in a state of nature –“nasty, brutish, and short” To escape this, people enter a contract

8 People give up freedom to gain peace and order No right to rebel Best government – one where ruler has complete control – Absolute monarchy Man basically evil, bad

9 John Locke English philosopher 1690 – Two Treatises on Government Believed gov’t was a contract Needed to establish order BUT, optimistic view of man People had natural rights – life, liberty, and property

10 King must be responsible to the people People have the right to rebel Called for a limited monarchy “tabula rasa”

11 Jean Jacques Rousseau Swiss philosopher Poor, unhappy, complainer, a rebel Believed human nature basically good, society corrupts All people are equal. Get rid of titles, etc. Admired the “noble savage”

12 Wrote The Social Contract Described the ideal society Rule by the “General Will” – decisions of the majority Emotion important, reason doesn’t solve everything

13 “Man is born free but everywhere is in chains.”

14 Voltaire French, middle class Argued for religious toleration and freedom of thought Favored an “Enlightened monarch”

15 “I do not agree with a word you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

16 Wanted to destroy conventional thought Used satire – Candide Attacked organized religion, intolerance, ignorance

17 Baron de Montesquieu Born to a wealthy French family Wrote The Spirit of the Laws Said there were 3 forms of govt Most impressed with England’s

18 Called for a separation of powers Executive, Legislative, Judicial Called for a system of checks and balances These ideas put into our Constitution

19 Enlightened Rulers Frederick the Great Peter the Great Catherine the Great Maria Theresa Joseph II


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