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The Enlightenment in Europe

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1 The Enlightenment in Europe

2 Setting the Stage Philosophers admired the work of Newton. They hoped to apply reason to all aspects of society. This paved the way for a new movement called the Enlightenment.

3 Two Views on Government
Thomas Hobbes John Locke The Enlightenment started from the ideas put forth by two English political thinkers of the 1600’s, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

4 Hobbes Social Contract
Hobbes ( ) expressed his views in a work called Leviathan. After seeing the English Civil War he felt that people were naturally selfish and wicked. Without government he felt that there would be a “war of every man against every other man.”

5 Hobbes Social Contract
Hobbes argued that to escape such a bleak life, people gave up their rights to a strong ruler. In exchange, they got law and order. Hobbes called this agreement the social contract. He believed an absolute monarchy was the ultimate form of government.

6 John Locke (1632–1704) felt that people could learn from experience and improve themselves. He believed that people should govern themselves. He thought that all people should be born free and equal, with three natural rights: life, liberty, and property.

7 For him the purpose of government was to protect these rights
For him the purpose of government was to protect these rights. If a government fails to protect these rights, the citizens have the right to overthrow it. Locke published these thoughts in Two Treatises on Government, two years after the Glorious Revolution.

8 In the mid 1700’s, a group of French social critics, called philosophes, believed that people could apply reason to all aspects of life and attempt to solve the problems affecting the world. Five important concepts formed the core of their philosophy; Reason, Nature, Happiness, Progress, and Liberty.

9 The most influential of the philosophers was Francois Marie Arouet
The most influential of the philosophers was Francois Marie Arouet. He used the pen name Voltaire. He used satire against his opponents. He criticized the clergy, the aristocracy, and the government.

10 Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers
Baron de Montesquieu French writer and philosopher. He studied political liberty and believed Rome’s collapse was due to the citizens loss of political liberties. Montesquieu felt that Britain was the best governed country.

11 Montesquieu felt this way because England had a division of power
Montesquieu felt this way because England had a division of power. The King and his ministers had executive power and carried out the Laws of the state. The members of Parliament held legislative power. The judges held judicial power. Montesquieu called this division the separation of powers.

12 In his book On the Spirit of Laws (1748), he proposed that the separation of powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control of the government. His idea would later be called “checks and balances” This became the basis for the United States Constitution.

13 Jean Jacques Rousseau was committed to the idea of individual freedom
Jean Jacques Rousseau was committed to the idea of individual freedom. He was an engraver, music teacher, tutor, and secretary. He Felt that civilization corrupted people’s natural goodness. “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”

14 Rousseau believed the only good government was one that was freely formed by the people and guided by the “general will” of society. He explained his philosophy in The Social Contract (1762). His social contract was an agreement among free individuals to create a society and a government. Believed the nobility should be abolished.

15 This work would be burned in Geneva, Switzerland.

16 Rousseau inspired the leaders of the French Revolution who overthrew the monarchy in 1789.

17 Beccaria Promotes Criminal Justice
Beccaria was an Italian philosopher who believed laws existed to preserve social order, not to avenge crimes. He wrote On Crimes and Punishment (1764) In it he rallied against common abuses of justice. He argued that a person accused of a crime should receive a speedy trial, and that torture should never be used.

18 He believed the degree of punishment should be based on the seriousness of the crime. To him, capital punishment should be abolished. Beccaria Based his ideas on the principal that governments should seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

19 Lesson questions 3. Whom did Voltaire criticize?
4. Who proposed that the separation of powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control of the government. 5.What was Rousseau’s social contract an agreement of? 6. What did Beccaria rally against?

20 Women and the Enlightenment
While many philosophers argued for changes in society and government, they often did not support women. In A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, (1792), Mary Astell addressed the lack of educational opportunities for women. She also argued that women were treated as slaves in marriage.

21 Women and the Enlightenment
Mary Wollstonecraft also advocated that women should receive educational opportunities. In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), she argued that women, like men, needed an education to be virtuous and useful. She believed that women should not only be nurses, but also should have the right to become doctors.

22 Impact of the Enlightenment
Challenged long-held ideas about society. Examined such principles as the divine right of monarchs, the union of church and state, and the inequality of the social classes. Inspired the American and French revolutions.

23 Impact of the Enlightenment
Produced three long term effects that helped shape Western Civilization: a belief in progress; a more secular outlook, and the importance of the individual.

24 Belief in progress Galileo and Newton discovered the key for unlocking the mysteries of nature. Success of the scientific revolution gave people the confidence that human reason could solve social problems.

25 A More Secular Outlook People began to openly question their religious beliefs. Voltaire and others wanted to rid religious faith of superstition and fear and promote tolerance of all religions.

26 Importance of the individual
Philosophers encouraged people to to use their own ability to reason in order to judge what is right or wrong.

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