AGE OF ENLIGHTEMENT
SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION AND THE
enlightenment grew largely out of the new
methods and discoveries achieved in the Scientific
Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries.
this led people to view the world in a different light.
Showing that nature and the universe could be
explained through reason.
People began to believe that they could explain the
workings of society and the relationships of people.
WHAT WAS ENLIGHTENMENT?
European politics, philosophy, science and
communications were radically reoriented during
the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815).
Defined as a philosophical, intellectual and cultural
movement of the 17th and 18th centuries.
It stressed reason, logic, criticism and freedom of
The Enlightenment held that there could be a
science of man, and that the history of mankind was
one of progress, which could be continued with the
Consequently, the Enlightenment also argued that
human life and character could be improved
through the use of education and reason.
Voltaire – 16501722
John Locke –
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
Humans are naturally cruel,
greedy and selfish.
To escape this people entered
into a social contract in
establishing a government.
In turn people get civil rights
for having a government rule
New ideas about rights of
people and their relationship
to their ruler.
Believed people have
natural rights; life, liberty
and property and
government was formed to
Failure to-do so and the
people had a right to
SEPARATION OF POWERS
Baron de Montesquieu:
Criticized absolute monarchy and admired British
British protected themselves from tyranny by dividing
powers of government between three branches:
legislative, executive and judicial (misconception).
Each branch of government should be able to ‘check’
the other two.
ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE ECONOMY
business to operate with little or
no government interference.
Real wealth comes from productive
land not gold and silver.
Supported free trade and opposed
Women: Women were not equal and were criticized
for attempting to gain equality
Salons: Men and women gather in living rooms to
discuss Enlightenment ideas (chat rooms)
Music: Ballets and operas become popular (Bach,
Art: Baroque gives way to rococo art (simple,
elegant and charming)
Literature: Novels become popular.
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