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Chapter 6-2 The Enlightenment in Europe I) Two Views on Government II) Philosophes Advocate Reason III) Women and the Enlightenment IV) Impact of the Enlightenment.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6-2 The Enlightenment in Europe I) Two Views on Government II) Philosophes Advocate Reason III) Women and the Enlightenment IV) Impact of the Enlightenment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6-2 The Enlightenment in Europe I) Two Views on Government II) Philosophes Advocate Reason III) Women and the Enlightenment IV) Impact of the Enlightenment

2 I) Two Views on Government The ideas of the scientific Revolution spread beyond the world of science and people began to look for laws governing human behavior as well. This paved the way for the age of reason or Enlightenment Thomas Hobbes (1651) believed that people need a strong government in order to keep order, a social contract John Locke (1690) believed that people have a natural rights, and therefore the ability to govern themselves –3 natural rights; life, liberty, property –All people born free and equal –Governments job to protect these rights His statement that government’s power comes from the consent of the people is the foundation of modern democracy, and his idea that people have the right to rebel against an unjust ruler helped inspire struggles for liberty in Europe and America.

3 II) The Philosophes Advocate Reason The Enlightenment reached it’s height in France in the mid-1700’s and Paris became the place to meet to discuss politics and ideas. The social critics of this time were known as philosophes, the French word for philosophers. 5 important philosophical concepts formed the core of their philosophy; –Reason, nature, happiness, progress, liberty Probably the most brilliant and influential French philosophes was Francois Marie Arouet, known under his pen name as Voltaire. He used satire in his writings to fight intolerance through his writings, attacking both the clergy, the aristocracy as well as the government.

4 II) The Philosophes Advocate Reason Another influential French writer was the Baron de Montesquieu, who devoted himself t o the study of political liberty. Montesquieu believed a government’s power should be divided into different branches, or a separation of power, which would later become the basis for the United States constitution. A third great French philosophe was Jean Jacques Rousseau, who was passionately committed to individual freedom but with many other enlightenment thinkers of the time by arguing that civilization corrupted people’s natural goodness. Rousseau believes governments should be formed freely through agreement of free individuals. He felt that all people were equal and the titles of the nobility should be abolished, which later inspired many leaders of the French revolution. An Italian philosophe named Cesare Bonesana Beccaria turned his thoughts to the justice system. Beccaria believed that laws existed to preserve social order, not to avenge crimes. He promoted the idea that a person accused of a crime should receive a speedy trial, and that torture should never be used, including capital punishment.

5 III) Women and the Enlightenment The philosophes challenged many assumptions about government and society, but they often took a traditional view toward women. Rousseau for example believed a girl’s education should mainly be to teach her how to be a helpful wife and good mother, and other male critics scolded women for reading novels because it promoted wickedness. Women writers argued for more education for women and for women’s equality in marriage.

6 III) Women and the Enlightenment English writer Mary Astell used Enlightenment ideas about government to criticize unequal relationships between men and women in marriage. During the 1700’s other women picked up on these themes such as Mary Wollstonecraft who disagreed with Rousseau and published an essay called A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She said an education made a women a better mother and also argued women should not just be nurses but doctors, and have the opportunity to participate in politics. Women made important contributions in other ways, such as wealthy women spread Enlightenment ideas through social gatherings called salons.

7 IV) Impact of the Enlightenment Over the span of a few decades, Enlightenment writers challenged long held ideas about a society, such as the divine right of monarchs, the union of church and state, and unequal social classes. Philosophes lived mainly in the world of ideas and were not active revolutionaries. Their theories however inspired revolutionary movements and three long term effects that helped shape Western civilization; –1)People have confidence that human reason can solve social problems –2) A more secular (worldly) outlook emerges as scientific thinking replaces superstition, fear and intolerance –3) The individual becomes important as people use their own ability to reason and judge


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