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The Enlightenment was sparked by scientists who used reason along with experiments to figure out how the universe worked. During the Enlightenment political thinkers tried to use reason to improve government. By: Meredith Smith
John Locke: •believed that people should be able to chose who governs them •promoted idea that every human was born with 3 natural rights (life, liberty, ownership of property) •called for over throw of government who failed to protect basic human right
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: •saw society as a corrupting influence on people •thought it was the role of government to protect the people •felt it was the governments duty to implement policies deemed beneficial for the general populace •similar belief on the state nature •different belief on the role of government
Baron de Montesquieu: •called for complete seperation of powers to maintain balance •accomplished by Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches •greatly admired the english system of limited government •pormoted the ideas of seperation of powers and checks and balances
Voltaire: •promoted idea of freedom of speech •blamed church leaders for keeping knowledge from the people to maintain church power •opposed the government supporting only one religion and banning others •believed God created the world and set it in motion •thought people should be free to chose their own belief
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