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The Enlightenment

Introduction to the Age of the

18th Century Europe
England and France
Defining the Enlightenment
Age of Reason
(18th century Enlightenment)

Natural laws apply

l Rights to Life,
to government as Liberty, and
well as science! Property

A FAIR society is based on

REASON, not “Divine
The Age of Reason
• Scientific Revolution convinced many European
thinkers about power of reason
• Scientific method and reason led to discoveries
about physical world
• Wondered if reason could be used to study human
nature, society
• New generation of philosophers, 1600s
• Viewed reason as best way to understand truth
• Concluded reason could be used to solve all
human problems
• This time of optimism now called the
OCCURRED B/W 1650 -1789

 Thinkers believed reason could

be used to uncover the laws that
govern human life
 Once the laws were known people
could make society better
 Believed that reason was a much
better guide than faith or

Reason is the “light” that

reveals human error and
showed the way to truth
• What society worked best?
• Why were laws unjust?
• How did the universe operate?
• Was there a God?
• Was the Earth really 4,000 years old?
• Were there natural laws that governed
• Who had the power to rule?
• How did the human mind work?
Defining The Age of

• A period of intellectual
exchange in Europe
during the 18th century
• Belief in the idea of
• A desire for political and
social change
Defining the Enlightenment

• These thinkers
believed that human
reason could be
used to combat
superstition, and
tyranny and to build
a better world.
• For the Symbol Column, what would be
THREE different ideas for symbols for the
• Discuss and choose the one you like best.
• Draw it in.
Beliefs of the Enlightenment
• Belief in Progress
– Through reason a better society was possible
– through progress we would continue to expand our
knowledge in the sciences
• Secular Outlook
– More worldly view of life
– church is continuing to lose power
– questioning of all church beliefs
• Importance Of the Individual
– own ability to reason
– importance of the in society
– Individual achievement
• Belief in the supremacy
of reason over
pleasure; conviction
that humans could
perfect society through
the application of the
intellect to human
• Science takes its place
for the first time
• The intellectuals of the Enlightenment
(called Philosophes) believed:
–The universe could be understood
through reason
–Everything in nature could be
explained by natural laws—
universal truths found through
observation (Religion is not
necessary to understand the world)
–The belief in progress—the world
can be improved upon & perfected
–People have natural rights—
personal freedoms that allow people
to enjoy liberty (no restrictions on
speech, religion, or the economy)
Central Concepts of the

A. The methods of natural science should be

used to understand all aspects of life -
through the use of REASON
B. Discover the natural laws of human
society as well as the natural world (“social
C. The idea of progress - The confidence in
human power, human reason to improve
Central concepts of the
Enlightenment [cont]

D. Rejection of superstition and tradition

E. Tolerance and equality

F. Deism - God does not intervene in the

world through miracles; he created the
world, and then removed himself from it
Pair Share Activity
*a period of intellectual
• Turn to your partner
growth that led to the
development of new and discuss:
ideas on society, • What do you think this
government, philosophy, motto means?
economics, and religion. • Does this motto relate
*marks the beginning of to our world today?
the modern world.
• Why or why not?
*Can be captured in the
words of Immanuel Kant:
“Dare to know! Have
the courage to use your
own understanding is
therefore the motto of
the Enlightenment.”
Why do you think the man is naked, out
in nature, and also working on geometry
with the protractor?
Knowledge is Power!
• This year thus far we
have learned about
how the Catholic
Church and Absolute
Monarchs saw new
ideas and education
as threats to be
suppressed. WHY?
• How does this tie in
the Enlightenment?
Defining The Enlightenment
• Principal targets:
Religion and the
domination of
society by hereditary
• In other words, the
church and the
state, who often
worked hand-in-
Major Enlightenment Ideas
• Every social, political and economic
problem could be solved through the
use of reason
• Governments are created to secure an
orderly society
• Separation of powers is the best way to
protect human liberties
• All men are created “free and equal”
• A free market should be allowed to
regulate trade
The market price of
Enlightenment Thinkers every particular
commodity is
In republican governments, men are
regulated by the
all equal; equal they are also in
proportion between
despotic governments: in the former,
the quantity which is
because they are everything; in the
actually brought to
latter, because they are nothing.
market, and the
~Baron de Montesquieu The Spirit of
demand of those who

of Nations Vol.I, bk.1, ch.7

~Adam Smith The Wealth
Laws Bk. VI, Ch.2 are willing to pay the
natural price of the
The reason why men enter into
commodity or the
society is the preservation of their
whole value of the
property, and putting themselves
rent, labor and profit
under government, is the
which must be paid in
preservation of their property.
order to bring it
~John Locke Second Treatise of Government thither.
ChXIX, “Of the Dissolution in Government”
Causes/Origins of the
Causes and Effects of the
Enlightenment—America & Europe
• Causes • Effects
– Religious Fanaticism – Deism—”natural law”
– Witch trials – Rise of merchant
– Beginning of a merchant class—aka bourgeoisie
class—aka bourgeoisie – Science/Logic/Reason
= Truth
– Landed Aristocracy
– Rise of philosophers
– Monarchies – Revolution x 3
– Church & State united – The “perfect” society
– Church = Truth – Separation of Church &
– Democracy
Causes: Influence of the
Ancients and Medieval
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Background in Antiquity
• The application of
Aristotelian logic by
Thomas Aquinas,
Scholasticism, in
the 13th century set
the stage for the
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Ancients Used Logic to Defend
• Aristotle’s logical
procedures were used
to defend the dogmas
of Christianity.
• Unfortunately for the
Catholic Church, the
tools of logic could not
be confined to Church
Cause: Renaissance
Origins of the Enlightenment:
• From sciences, ideas of
nature surfaced-
– study not only gravity
or the circulatory
system, but also
human behavior
• New sciences of
psychology and politics
were developed-
– Social Sciences;
political science,
geography, sociology,
history, civics,
economics, etc…
• Advocates of
Enlightenment claim
governing laws dictate
human nature, society and
The Enlightenment—Early
• Renaissance Humanists (14th & 15th cent.)
– Argued that proper worship of God involved admiration of
his creation, notably His crown of creations: humanity.
– Celebrating humans worships God better than gloomy
priests who preached original sin and repentance
• Galileo Galilei (1632)
– Used logic and observation to argue that earth rotates
around sun
– The Church (possessor of Truth) forced him to recant,
objecting that Bible clearly stated that the sun moved
through the sky.
– Led to the advancement of science—Isaac Newton
Origins of the Enlightenment:
The Renaissance Humanists
• In the 14th and 15th
"humanists“ celebrated
the human race and its
• They argued they were
worshipping God more
appropriately than the
priests and monks who
harped on original sin
and asked people to
humble themselves.
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Renaissance Focused on Man’s
• Some of them claimed
that humans were like
God, created not only
in his image, but with
a share of his creative
power. The painter,
the architect, the
musician, and the
scholar, by exercising
their intellectual
powers, were fulfilling
divine purposes.
Renaissance Thinker
• Michel de Montaigne (16th Century)
– Asked “What do I know?”
– We have no right to impose other dogmas which
rest on cultural habit rather than absolute Truth
– New World = new cultures
• Morals may be relative
– If we cannot be certain that our values are God-
given, then we have no right to impose them by
force on others
– Popes and kings had no right to enforce
adherence to particular religious or philosophical
– Doubt is essential to science—test, challenge,
ask—to get closer to truth. Authority is science’s
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Renaissance Challenged Church
• In the 16th century,
various humanists had
begun to ask dangerous
• François Rabelais, a
French monk and
physician influenced by
challenged the Church's
authority, ridiculing
many religious doctrines
as absurd.
Cause: Scientific Revolution
Origins of the
Enlightenment: The
Scientific Revolution
“If I have seen farther than
others,” said Newton, “it is 1
because I have stood on the
shoulders of giants.” Who
were the giants to whom
Newton was referring? Could
this be said of any scientific
accomplishment? Explain.
Giants were Copernicus, Kepler, and
Galileo. Yes, scientific discoveries give
scientists a clearer understanding of
how the world works. New discoveries
lead to further questions for
investigation and more discoveries.
• During the Scientific Revolution,
people began to believe that the
scientific method allowed them to
find answers to their questions
Scientific Revolution Leads to Enlightenment
• 1500-1700: European scientists using
reason to discover laws of nature
– Very successful: Planetary movements,
chemistry, vaccine for smallpox, etc.
• Early 1700’s: If people used reason to
find laws that governed the physical
world, why not use reason to discover
natural laws?
– Laws that govern human nature
– Reformers begin studying human nature
and societal problems
Cause: Economic Changes
• Political & Economic Background
– Wealth from Asia & Americas catapulted a new
class of merchants into prominence, partially
displacing the aristocracy whose power had
been rooted in land ownership
– These bourgeoisie had their own ideas about
the world—main agents of change in the arts,
government, and the economy
– Naturally convinced that their earnings were
result of their individual merit and hard work
– Absolutist kings and dogmatic churches were
the biggest obstacle to change for the merchant
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Economic Change
• During the late
Middle Ages,
had begun to move
from rural estates
to the towns in
search of increased
freedom and
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Economic and
• As trade and
communication improved
during the Renaissance,
the ordinary town-dweller
began to realize that things
need not always go on as
they had for centuries.
People could write new
charters, form new
governments, pass new
laws, begin new
Cause: Social Changes
Origins of the Enlightenment: Economic and Social
– Wealth from Asia & Americas
catapulted a new class of merchants
into prominence, partially displacing
the aristocracy whose power had
been rooted in land ownership
– These bourgeoisie had their own
ideas about the world—main agents
of change in the arts, government,
and the economy
– Naturally convinced that their
earnings were result of their
individual merit and hard work
– Absolutist kings and dogmatic
churches were the biggest obstacle to
change for the merchant class
Origins of The Enlightenment: Social Class
• Most important, the
middle classes—the
painfully aware that
they were paying
taxes to support a
aristocracy that
contributed nothing
of value to society.
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Social Class Changes
– They were naturally
convinced that their
earnings were the result
of their individual merit
and hard work, unlike the
inherited wealth of
– The ability of individual
effort to transform the
world became a
European dogma, lasting
to this day.
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Social Changes—
Impoverished Masses
• They were to find
ready allies in France
among the
impoverished masses
who realized that they
were paying higher
and higher taxes to
support the lifestyle of
the idle rich at
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Social---Role of the Aristocrats

• Interestingly, it was
among those very idle
aristocrats that the
French Enlightenment
philosophers were to
find some of their
earliest and most
enthusiastic followers.
Pair Share Activity
• For the all the causes covered up to this
point, review your Powerpoint and
Reading Notes and make any corrections.
• Then come up with symbols for each of
the causes and draw them.
Cause: Political and
Religious Repression and
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Political and Religious
• The 17th century
was torn by witch-
wars of religion,
and imperial
Religion Persecution
• The 17th century scene: Dogma & Fanaticism
– Witch-hunts and wars of religion
– Protestants & Catholics denounced each other as
followers of Satan
– People imprisoned for attending wrong church
– All publications censored by church and state
– Slavery widely practiced, defended by religious leaders
– Despotism of monarchs=“divine right of kings”
– Any opposition was imprisoned or executed

• Reason and Logic had no room for these matters

Origins of the Enlightenment:
Religious Intolerance
• Protestants and
denounced each
other as followers of
Satan and people
could be imprisoned
for attending the
wrong church or for
not attending any.
Origins of the Enlightenment:
• All publications,
whether pamphlets
or scholarly
volumes, were
subject to prior
censorship by both
church and state.
Origins of the Enlightenment:
• The despotism of
monarchs exercising far
greater powers than any
medieval king was
supported by the doctrine
of the "divine right of
kings," and scripture
quoted to show that
revolution was detested
by God.
Pair Share Activity
• For under examples, select one of the two
following primary source quotes to write
down and analyze with your partner.
• What is the philosophe saying in modern
day English?
“The individual who persecutes
another because he is not of the
same opinion is nothing less
than a monster.”

– Voltaire
“If men’s minds were as
easily controlled as their
tongues, every king would sit
safely on his throne, and
government by compulsion
would cease.”
Baruch Spinoza
Cause: Exploration
Origins of the Enlightenment:
Exploration and Slavery
• Slavery was widely
practiced, especially
in the colonial
plantations of the
Hemisphere, and its
cruelties frequently
defended by leading
religious figures..
Origins of The
Enlightenment: Exploration

The Impact of Travel

a. Captain James
Cook, Travels
b. Literature on
Diderot’s Views on Mankind
• Attacked slavery and colonialism- “We are a free
people; and now you have planted in our country the title
deeds of our future slavery. You are neither god nor
demon; who are you, then, to make slaves? Orou! You
understand the language of these men, tell us all, as you
have told me, what they have written on this sheet of
metal: 'This country is ours.' This country yours? And
why? Because you have walked thereon? If a Tahitian
landed one day on your shores, and scratched on one of
your rocks or on the bark of your trees: 'This country
belongs to the people of Tahiti' - what would you think?"
(from Supplement to Bougainville's Voyage)
The Age of Enlightenment in Europe
Five Key Ideas of the
“Man is born free, yet
everywhere he is in chains.”
What are examples of things that
are enslaving us…what aspects
of society according to
Give historical and current
Five Key Ideas of the
The five important philosophical concepts
1. Reason
2. Nature
3. Happiness
4. Progress
5. Liberty
Five Key Ideas of the Enlightenment
• Urged the use of:
– Reason: absence of intolerance, bigotry or prejudice in one’s
thinking; beliefs should be rational and free of biases
– Nature: natural laws exist w/out man’s creation; what was
natural was good and reasonable; God is found in nature
– Happiness: a person who lives by nature’s law finds happiness;
argued against medieval notion that people should accept misery
as part of life’s circle; Philosophes believed in well-being on earth
– Progress: Philosophes believed individuals could seek perfection
and in return, society seek perfection; looked at human being as
capable of progress, making something better
– Liberty: freedoms should not be merely granted, but expected;
beliefs that we are born with liberties in nature
*Belief in logic and science.
*Supported the application of the scientific method to all
aspects of society.
*Government should be based on reason.
*It was a period of questioning---led to the development
of Political Science.
*Importance of education and knowledge:
a)an understanding of human nature and how to
apply that knowledge
b)knowledge would conquer fear, superstition, and
c)knowledge was key to improving society
• Truth can be discovered
through reason (logical

• Reason= unbiased
thinking – open to new
• Enlightenment philosophers combined logic and
• Logic: formal logic is the process(es) by which an
argument can be determined as valid or not. An
argument is valid if the premises are all true, then the
conclusion must also be true.
– Example: All humans have heart. Tom is a human.
Therefore, Tom has a heart.
• Reason: Enlightenment thinkers stated that it
consisted of common sense, observation, and their
own unacknowledged prejudices in favor of
skepticism and freedom.
Reason Cont.

*The greatest crimes are

perpetuated in the name
of religion and God.
*A fair, just, and productive
society absolutely
depends on religious
*This means religious
tolerance for all forms of
Christianity and non-
Christian faiths.
• Issues of the 17th century scene that the idea
of Reason attacked: Dogma & Fanaticism
– Witch-hunts and Wars of Religion
– Protestants & Catholics denounced each other as
followers of Satan
– People imprisoned for attending wrong church
– All publications censored by church and state
– Slavery widely practiced, defended by religious
– Despotism of monarchs=“divine right of kings”
– Any opposition was imprisoned or executed
• Reason and Logic had no room for these
Denis Diderot - Encyclopédie 1766

“Allthings must be examined, debated,

investigated without exception and
without regard for anyone’s feelings…”

- Summarize & promote knowledge

*The belief that there were natural laws that govern the
earth as well as man.
*Focused on the scientific discoveries and use of reason to
examine the world.
*Deism---a religious philosophy that developed around the
following concepts:
a)an impersonal deity (God)
b)God is found in nature. You do not have to attend
a formal church.
c)There is a common morality amongst humans that
is seen in the similarities between Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam.
d)It is a religion based upon REASON and not Faith.
Nature Cont.
e)Goal was to humanize religion.
f)Rejected original sin.
g)Attacked Christianity for the
persecution of other
religions and abuses of power.
h)Believed society should exist without
religious supervision.
i)It was their job to discover how the
world God created worked.
j)Rejected traditions and superstitions.
• What is natural is good
and reasonable
• Natural laws affect
economics and politics
just as natural laws guide
science (ex: motion).
The Social Contract, 1762

How could this fraudulent contract of

government be made legitimate?

“Man is born free; and everywhere he is

in chains. One thinks himself master of
others, and still remains a greater slave
than they. How did this change come
about? I do not know. What can make it
legitimate? That question I think I can
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“The General Will”


• The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word

for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the
existence of God, on purely rational grounds,
without any reliance on revealed religion or
religious authority.
• Deists:
– Do not accept the belief of most religions that
God revealed himself to humanity through the
writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other
religious texts.
– Disagree with strong Atheists who assert that
there is no evidence of the existence of God.
• Deists regard their faith as a natural religion, as
contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or
which is artificially created by humans.
• They reason that since everything that exists has had
a creator, then the universe itself must have been
created by God.
• Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the
French Revolution with: "God is the power of first
cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject
acted upon.”
Growth of Deism/Nature
• Intellectuals believe in God but see
him as a "watchmaker"
• Deists skeptical of organized religion
– Catholic Church was attacked
• Deists struggle with personal
• Denial of providence (Voltaire)
disputed by others (Pope, Rousseau)
• Denial of evil
“I have never made but one
prayer to God, a very short one:
‘Oh Lord, make my enemies
ridiculous.’ And God granted
“Almost everything that goes beyond
the adoration of a Supreme Being
and submission of the heart to his God is a comedian playing
orders is superstition. One of the to an audience too afraid
most dangerous is to believe that to laugh.
certain ceremonies entail the
forgiveness of crimes. Do you believe It is dangerous to be
that God will forget a murder you right when the
have committed if you bathe in a government is wrong.
certain river, sacrifice a black
sheep…? … Do better miserable I may not agree with what
humans, have neither murders nor you have to say, but I will
sacrifices of black sheep.” defend to the death your
right to say it.
Example of Deism
*This was a time period of optimism.
*Believed every man had the right to
develop his full potential.
*Focus on secular issues to make life
better on earth.
• Living by Nature’s
Laws brings
• Happiness for all is
*Guaranteed freedoms/rights that everyone should have
like press, speech, religion.
*Exploring the issues of equality amongst races and
*Exploring what is the best form of government and why.
*Create a government that will help overcome human
cruelty and violence by using its power to further social
• Envied liberties of
English (Glorious
Revolution; Bill of Rights)

• Society could be set free

through reason.
"The good of the people must be the
great purpose of government. By
the laws of nature and of reason, the
governors are invested with power to
that end. And the greatest good of
the people is liberty. It is to the
state what health is to the
- Diderot in L'Encyclopedie: Article on Government, quoted
in Barzun, Jacques, From Dawn to Decadence, Perennial,
2000, p370.
approach can lead to
perfect humanity and
*The belief that man can
improve and perfect society
through education and scientific
*Attack existing institutions and
concepts of:
c)views on how the world
*Belief in the importance of
social reform
*By mastering both natural and
human sciences, man can
harness the natural world for its
own benefit and learn to live
peacefully with one another.
Pair Share Activity
• Review all the five key ideas of the
Enlightenment. Make any revisions to
your notes.
• Compare your symbols with your partner
and explain your choices.
• Of the five key ideas, which do you each
think was the most important idea and
explain why.
Defining Philosophes
The Philosophes
• Bourgeoisie: well-educated middle class
that emerged during era
• Philosophes: writers within this class
– Advocated reason, science, education to build
a stable and free society
– Concerned with solutions to social problems
The Philosophes and Their Ideas
• France was the capital of the Enlightenment.
• Leaders of the Enlightenment were called
• Writers, professors, journalists, statesmen
economists and social reformers.
• Came from both the nobility and middle class.
• Reason was to be used as a tool.
• Apply facts to experience to find the best way
for society to operate.
• Secular movement; focus was not on an
afterlife, but on this world and how it could be
improved and enjoyed.
• Everything should be questioned to determine
whether it made logical sense and served
The Philosophes
• Intellectuals who
discussed ideas
• Used reason to explain
their world
• Believed that reason
could improve society
• Not satisfied with old
• Believed in tolerance for
all religions
• The “Philosophes”
• The philosophes were French social critics in the mid-
• Paris becomes the center of the Enlightenment during
• Paris is home to salons – gatherings wherethinkers
(philosophes) meet to discuss ideas.
• They valued reason, nature, happiness, progress, &
• Some philosophes worked to bring attention to
problems in society.
• For example, Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria
worked to reform justice system by calling for
speedy trials and greater rights for criminal defendants.
The “Enlightened” Individual
The Philosophe

► Not really original thinkers as a whole, but were great publicists of the new
thinking  CHANGE & PROGRESS!
► They were students of society who analyzed its evils and advanced reforms.
What did the Philosophers Despise?
• Absolute Monarchs
• Land-Owning Nobles
• The Catholic Church’s Abusesf power
The Philosophes and

Thinkers called philosophes believed that the use of reason
could lead to reforms of government, law, and society.


Defended the principle of Believed that people were Argued that a woman
freedom of speech. basically good. should be able to decide
Argued that government what is in her own interest
Used wit to expose abuses controls should be minimal and should not be
and corruption. and should only be imposed completely dependent on
by a freely elected her husband.
Opposed the slave trade
and religious prejudice. government. Called for equal education
Felt the good of the for girls and boys.
community should be placed
above individual interests.

Political Thinkers of the Enlightenment



People are naturally cruel, People are basically The separation of powers
greedy, and selfish. reasonable and moral. is the best way to protect
People entered into a People have certain natural
social contract, in order to rights. Each branch of
live in an organized government should serve
society. A government has a duty to as a check on the others.
the people it governs. If a
Only an absolute government fails, the people
monarchy can ensure an have the right to overthrow it.
orderly society.
Centers of the Enlightenment
Effects of the Enlightenment
The “Republic of Letters”

A. URBAN –-- gathering of elites in the cities (salons)

B. URBANE --– cosmopolitan, worldly
- music, art, literature, politics
- read newspapers & the latest
C. POLITENESS –-- proper behavior
- self-governed
Reading During the Enlightenment

► Literacy:
- 80 % for men, 60 % women
► Books were expensive (one day’s wages)
► Many readers for each book

►- novels, plays & other literature

- journals, memoirs, “private lives”
- philosophy, history, theology
- newspapers, political pamphlets
► - often censored by governments
Toleration & Religious Minorities
• out of political necessity, toleration of certain creeds began by 17th cent.
• Louis XIV turned back the clock, persecuting Huguenots in the early 18th
• Austria - Toleration Patent of 1781 recognized Catholic public practice &
granted right to private worship for Lutherans, Calvinists, & Greek Orthodox
– in all other ways, Austrians were equal

Toleration of the Jews

• remained the despised religious minority of Europe
• largest # of Ashkenazic Jews lived in Eastern Europe
– restricted in movement
– forbidden to own land or hold jobs
– pay special taxes
– subject to periodic popular wrath
• Sephardic Jews - had been expelled from Spain in 15th cent.
– settled in Turkish lands, also cities such as Amsterdam, Venice, London,
& Frankfurt where they were free to work in banking & commercial
– many philosophes denounced persecution, but still ridiculed Jewish
– Austria: eased restrictions on Jews, but still own land or worship publicly
Impact/ Effects of the Enlightenment
• The Enlightenment birthed two revolutions
imperative to Western Civilization:
– American Revolution
– French Revolution
• The Enlightenment created an outlet for
intellectuals/educated to openly debate issues w/in
• This era allowed for a greater sense of
‘universalism’ where peoples did not live for their
own sake, but sought betterment for others
England v. France
• The English and French Enlightenments
exchanged influences through many
– Because England had gotten its
revolution out of the way early, it was
able to proceed more smoothly down
the road to democracy.
– But English liberty was dynamite
when transported to France, where
resistance by church and state was
Progression Timeline
Enlightenment in America
• Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, many
of the intellectual leaders of the
American colonies were drawn to the
– Jefferson, Washington, Franklin,
and Paine were powerfully
influenced by Enlightenment
– The God who underwrites the
concept of equality in the
Declaration of Independence is
the same Deist God Rousseau
Why should we care?
• Because Thomas Jefferson
totally ripped off of these guys!
• You remember that little paper
he wrote? It was called The
Declaration of Independence
and signed on July 4, 1776.
• This paper summarized how
the Enlightenment ideas
influenced our American
forefathers (Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams, James Madison).
American Revolution
• The language of natural law,
of inherent freedoms, of self-
determination which seeped
so deeply into the American
grain was the language of the
• Separated geographically
from most of the aristocrats
against whom they were
rebelling, their revolution was
to be far less corrosive than
that in France.
Montesquieu’s 3 branches in
Enlightenment Ideas in
• Natural Rights –life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness
• Separation of Power – legislative, judicial, & executive
• Social Contract
• Freedom of speech, press, and religion
• Purpose of Gov’t to serve the people
• System of Checks and Balances
• Capitalism
• Importance of Education
• Belief that science and eventually technology will solve most
or all problems
• Idea of Human Rights
• Helping others---social services, etc….
Pair Share Activity
• Complete the Sum It Up Activity that is the
last page of the graphic organizer packet.
• Some pairs will be sharing them as
closure to the lesson.