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  • The Enlightenment
  • 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.
  • •believed that power of a government to rule must come from the consent of the governed-people should be able to choose who governs them •life,liberty,ownership of property •promoted: freedom of the press, educational reform, and religious tolerance •called for the through of governments that failed to protect basic human rights •Great political philosopher of the Enlightenment. •He was influenced by the Glorious Revolution. •He saw the state of nature as a good place and the social contract as a voluntary agreement to enhance life. •He felt government was to protect the rights of people and if it didn't then the people had the right to abolish government of break the contract and create a new one. •His writings had a strong influence on American patriots like Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence.
  • 1632
  • John Locke
  • Jean - Jacques Rousseau
  • •had a similar belief on the state of nature but differed on the role of government. •he saw society as the corrupting influence on people •he felt it was the role of government to protect the “general will” of the people. •he felt it was the government’s duty to implement policies deemed beneficial for general populace. •american colonists largely rejected Rousseau •his writings later provided part of the foundation for totalitarian governments.
  • •greatest contribution came in government organization by calling for a complete separations of powers to maintain balance (checks and balances) within government which was to be accomplished by creating separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government •he greatly admired the english system of limited government. •even though the concepts of limited government didn’t start with him, he made them popular. •his ideas are evident in the U.S. Constituion.
  • Baron de Montesquieu
  • Voltaire
  • •Voltaire born in middle-class family, wrote many novels, plays, letters, and essays that brought him fame and wealth. •He became known for his strong dislike of the roman catholic church. •he blamed the church leaders for keeping knowledge from people in order to maintain the church’s power. •he also opposed the government supporting one religion and forbidding others ~he thought people should be free to choose their own beliefs. •Voltaire was a supporter •wrote about human rights and democracy as well as locke •championed the idea of freedom of speech with a famous statement, “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it”
  • Don't forget to study your philosophers! See you tomorrow!
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