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The Enlightenment. Time period known as the Enlightenment Scientific Revolution convinced many about the power of reason People wondered if reason could.

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Presentation on theme: "The Enlightenment. Time period known as the Enlightenment Scientific Revolution convinced many about the power of reason People wondered if reason could."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Enlightenment

2 Time period known as the Enlightenment Scientific Revolution convinced many about the power of reason People wondered if reason could be used to study human nature and society

3 1.Reason can be used to solve all human problems 2.Human society is governed by natural laws 3.People should find happiness in their lives 4.Society can be improved and progress 5.Liberty should be spread to all countries and all people

4 This is known as a social contract

5 People could learn from experiences and improve Human beings possess free will Obedience to government should be out of true belief, not out of fear Divine Right of Kings was nonsense

6 John Locke’s Philosophy There are natural rights given by God to all human beings: 1. Life 2. Liberty 3. Property Governments owe their power to a contract with the people If government is not protecting the above rights, people have the right to overthrow an unjust government

7 1.Read the article “Social Contract Theory” 2.Answer questions 1-4 based on your own knowledge and what is in the reading 3.Be prepared to discuss

8 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” So what document is this from?? The U.S. Declaration of Independence!

9 Believed people are naturally selfish and wicked Governments needed to keep order People had to give up some rights to a strong government in order to gain law and order Hobbes’ version of a social contract required that the ruler had total power to keep people under control Without government, the “life of man [would be] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

10 Jean Jacques Rousseau “Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” Society corrupted people’s natural goodness All people are equal (get rid of nobility) An effective government is created by the people and guided by the “general will” of society General Will = what the majority of people want Social contracts are an agreement by free people to give up some of their freedoms in favor of the common good

11 The Baron de Montesquieu Separation of powers would keep individuals or groups from gaining total control “Power should be a check to power” – the initial idea behind checks and balances! Best form of government divides power amongst branches of government

12 Monarchs in Europe believed in the divine right of kings and absolute rule. 1.What ideas were proposed by Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau that contradicted absolutism? 2.List at least three different ways monarchs could respond to these new ideas.

13 New Views on Society While some Enlightenment philosophes focused on government, others focused on issues such as social classes, women’s rights, and economic principles

14 Attacked injustices committed by nobility, government, Church Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech Thought our worst enemies were intolerance, prejudice, superstition Published over 70 books!

15 Voltaire’s Wisdom “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” “Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” “Men are equal; it is not birth, but virtue that makes the difference.” “The way to become boring is to say everything.”

16 Many Enlightenment thinkers held traditional views about women Proper roles: wives and mothers Should receive limited education Wollstonecraft demanded equal rights for women Women needed an education to be useful Urged women to go into traditionally male professions, such as politics

17 Argued for free market economy Prices determined by competition between privately owned businesses Economy would be stronger if supply and demand were allowed to work freely Strong believer in laissez-faire economics - no government involvement and no taxes

18 Belief in Progress –human reason could solve society’s problems More Secular Outlook – people began to openly question their religious beliefs and the teachings of the church Importance of Individual – as people turned away from the Church and royalty for instruction, they looked to themselves instead

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