Presentation on theme: "The Age of Reason or The Age of Rationalism"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Age of Reason or The Age of Rationalism The Enlightenment 1700sThe Age of Reason or The Age of Rationalism
2 Background Info Why did The Enlightenment Period begin? Privileged minority rules the majorityScientific Revolution – people want facts & no longer look to God or gods for information about daily life.Monarchs ruling with absolute powerWhat is The Enlightenment?A period in the 1700s where philosophers believed that they could apply the scientific method & reason to explain human nature logicallyGod did not act in human affairsHuman actions determined the future
3 Quick Overview Why was it important? And why do we need to study it? Many new political ideasSome are in our founding documents!New ideas led to revolutions and new governments!Ideas still in use today!ContributionsThe Encyclopedia – By Diderot & Jean d’ Alembert28 volumes of complaints on the church, government, slave trade, taxes, & warSalons – Gathering place for enlightenment womenRevolutionsAmerican Revolution 1776French Revolution 1789
4 Enlightenment Thinkers PhilosophesCritics of society and governmentThe churchGovernmentPublished their beliefs in books, pamphlets, and plays.
5 Thomas Hobbes Lived through the English Civil War People are naturally in a state of total freedom & chaos (anarchy) & need a government to keep order and stop self interest from taking over.SO, people give up their freedom to enter a Social ContractAn agreement between the people and the government that they formContract is FINAL and the leader has absolute power!
6 John Locke “The Father of the Social Contract” Modifies Hobbes’ theory by stating that people still have rights even under a social contract & government.Life, Liberty, & PropertyWe need a government to protect those rightsThe people can amend (change) the contract!We have changed the Constitution 27 times!If the government or leaders aren’t protecting the people’s rights – the people can overthrow them and create a new one!
7 Baron de Montesquieu French author who wrote The Spirit of the Laws He describes the perfect governmentHis idea of a perfect government has 3 branches…ExecutiveLegislativeJudicialAll of these have Checks & Balances which allow each to limit or check the power of the other two.Believed Great Britain had the best government
8 VoltaireFrench author who wrote satires about the French government and the leaders of the church.Most famous was CandideBelieved in personal freedomsFreedom of SpeechFreedom of ReligionArrested twice for his views.“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
9 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Wrote The Social ContractPeople are naturally good but their environment, laws, & education corrupt them.SO, government should be made by the people, for the peoplePopular Sovereignty“We, the People” in the US ConstitutionDid not want a strong centralized government.The only Enlightenment thinker who did not like the idea of reason or rationalism.
10 Mary Wollstonecraft English author 1759-1797 Used Enlightenment thinkers’ ideas of equality to argue for women’s rightsEquality for men and women
11 Long Term EffectsPeople fought for their new ideas in government and revolution ensued.Many enlightenment ideas can be found in America’s founding documents!Especially the Declaration of Independence,The Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10),The ConstitutionThey still form the basis for human rights violations