Presentation on theme: "The Enlightenment During the 1600s and 1700s, belief in the power of reason grew. Writers of the time sought to reform government and bring about a more."— Presentation transcript:
The Enlightenment During the 1600s and 1700s, belief in the power of reason grew. Writers of the time sought to reform government and bring about a more just society. Despite opposition from government and Church leaders, Enlightenment ideas spread, and helped to form the concepts of democracy and nationhood. Overview
The Enlightenment Enlightenment – The period in the 1700s in which people rejected traditional ideas and supported a belief in human reason. Thinkers: Thomas Hobbes John Locke Montesquieu Voltaire Denis Diderot Jean-Jacques Rousseau Mary Wollstonecraft Adam Smith Natural Laws – According to some philosophers, rules that govern human nature.
Thomas Hobbs Wrote: Leviathan Thomas Hobbes believed that people were greedy and selfish, and that only a powerful government could create a peaceful, orderly society.
Thomas Hobbs Social Contract – An agreement by which people give up a state of nature for an organized society. Hobbes came to this view during the English Civil War, and favored absolute monarch, which could impose order and compel obedience.
John Locke Wrote: Two Treatises of Government Like Hobbes, John Locke was also an English thinker of the late 1600s, but he rejected absolute monarchy and had a more optimistic view of human nature. Locke believed that people were basically moral and that all people possess natural rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property. Natural Rights – Rights that belong to all humans from birth.
John Locke Locke argued that people form governments to protect their natural rights. Locke also said that if the government does not protect these natural rights, then the people have the right to overthrow it.
John Locke This idea of a right to revolution was radical at that time. Locke’s ideas about natural rights and revolution later influenced Thomas Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence and the French Revolutionaries.
The Baron de Montesquieu Wrote: The Spirit of the Laws Wealthy French thinker Charles Louis de Secondat (the Baron de Montesquieu) studied ancient history and the governments of Europe. In his book he spoke well of Britain’s limited monarchy. He wrote that the powers of government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The separation of powers would prevent tyranny by creating what is called checks and balances. Each branch could keep the other two from gaining too much power.
President Enforces the Law Congress Makes the Law Supreme Court Interprets the Law
Voltaire Voltaire wrote many books and pamphlets in which he defended freedom of thought, and detested the slave trade. -Believed that the state/government should be separate from church. -This separation would lead to greater tolerance. -Voltaire believed in free speech, and used his sharp wit to criticize the French government and the Catholic Church for their failure to permit religious toleration and intellectual freedom.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Wrote: The Social Contract Jean-Jacques Rousseau was another 1700s French philosophe. He believed that people were naturally good but were corrupted by the evils of society, such as the unequal distribution of property. He also believed that government should not be too powerful and must be freely elected. Rousseau believed in the will of the majority, which he called the “general will. -Government ruled through popular sovereignty.
Impact of the Enlightenment Democracy Enlightenment ideas inspired a sense of individualism, a belief in personal freedom, and a sense of the basic equality of human beings. These concepts, along with challenges to traditional authority, became important in the growth of democracy.