Main Ideas - Jefferson School District
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Chapter 17 – Enlightenment and Revolution Section Notes
Ideas of the Enlightenment New Views on Government The Age of Revolution
The Declaration of Independence
Quick Facts Ideas of the Enlightenment Documents of Democracy Chapter 17 Visual Summary
Maps European Monarchies
Alessandro Volta Time Line: The Enlightenment Reaches America Women’s March on Versailles
Ideas of the Enlightenment
The Big Idea
Enlightenment thinkers built on ideas from earlier movements to emphasize the importance of reason. Main Ideas • The Enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason. • The Enlightenment’s roots can be traced back to earlier ideas. • New ideas came mainly from French and British thinkers.
Main Idea 1: The Enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason. Discoveries made during the Scientific Revolution and on voyages of discovery led to changes in Europe.
The Age of Reason • Changes in Europe from the Scientific Revolution led people to use reason to make decisions. • The use of reason in guiding people’s thoughts about philosophy, society, and politics defined a time period called the Enlightenment. • These new scholars relied on reason or logical thought instead of religious teachings to explain how the world worked. • They believed that human reason could be used to achieve three great goals—knowledge, freedom, and happiness.
Main Idea 2: The Enlightenment’s roots can be traced back to earlier ideas. The main ideas of the Enlightenment had their roots in other eras. Enlightenment thinkers looked back to the Greeks, the Romans, and the history of Christianity.
The Enlightenment’s Roots • The Enlightenment was rooted in Greek and Roman ideas.
• Enlightenment thinkers disagreed with the church’s claims to authority and its intolerance toward non-Christian beliefs. • Renaissance and Reformation ideas also reappeared during the Enlightenment period. • The Scientific Revolution also influenced Enlightenment thinkers.
Main Idea 3: New ideas came mainly from French and British thinkers. Enlightenment thinkers borrowed ideas from history to develop a new worldview. They believed the use of reason could improve society. To achieve this progress, they had to share their ideas with others.
The Spread of New Ideas • French Enlightenment thinkers spread their ideas through their writings. • They made efforts to share their writings with the public. • British men and women also began to publish their writings.
• Some women writers believed that women should have the same rights as men.
New Views on Government
The Big Idea
Enlightenment ideas influenced the growth of democratic government in Europe and America. Main Ideas • The Enlightenment influenced some monarchies. • Enlightenment thinkers helped the growth of democratic ideas. • In America, the Enlightenment inspired a struggle for independence.
Main Idea 1: The Enlightenment influenced some monarchies. In the 1600s, kings, queens, and emperors ruled Europe. Many of these rulers believed that they ruled by divine right, or by God’s will.
The Enlightenment’s Influence on Monarchies Divine Right • Most rulers believed that they ruled by divine right. • They believed that God had given them the right to rule as they chose. • They believed they shouldn’t be limited by bodies such as England’s parliament.
Enlightened Despots • A despot is a ruler with absolute power. The enlightened despots tried to make life better for commoners in order to make their countries stronger. • Frederick II of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia were two such rulers.
Main Idea 2: Enlightenment thinkers helped the growth of democratic ideas. Even though the enlightened despots helped improve their countries, people still looked for a greater change.
Democratic Ideas • Three Enlightenment thinkers developed new ideas to identify the best possible form of government. • John Locke was an English philosopher who argued that government was a contract between the rulers and the people. Government is for the good of the people. • Charles-Louis Montesquieu, a Frenchman, believed that government should be divided into separate branches in order to limit its power. • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was also French, criticized the power of divine right. He believed that government should express the will of the people.
Main Idea 3: In America, the Enlightenment inspired a struggle for independence. The ideas of these three philosophers spread throughout Europe. From Europe the ideas spread to the British colonists in North America.
British Policy in North America • The British and the French both had colonies in North America. • The two countries had many disagreements that eventually led to war. This war cost England a lot of money. • The English decided to tax the colonies to make up for the cost of the war. People in England did not have to pay the tax. • The colonists thought that this was unfair, and that they should have the same rights as British citizens.
The Colonists • Many colonial leaders were familiar with the ideas of the Enlightenment. • Two leaders in particular—Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson—would apply those ideas to the colonists’ situation. • Franklin argued for the rights of the colonists. He believed the British were practicing “taxation without representation.” • Jefferson also believed that the British did not have the right to impose taxes on the colonists. • Both of these men were leaders in the American Revolution, and Jefferson later became president of the United States.
The Age of Revolution The Big Idea
Revolutions changed the governments of Britain, the American colonies, and France. Main Ideas • Revolution and reform changed the government of England. • Enlightenment ideas led to democracy in America. • The French Revolution caused major changes in France’s government.
Main Idea 1: Revolution and reform changed the government of England. Enlightenment ideas inspired commoners to oppose monarchies that ruled without concern for the people’s need.
Revolution and Reform in England The king of England and Parliament had a very uneasy relationship. This led to years of turmoil and changes in leadership.
William and Mary eventually became the rulers of England, after they promised to sign the English Bill of Rights.
The English Bill of Rights drew on the ideas of the Magna Carta, limiting the power of the rulers and recognizing some rights of the people.
Main Idea 2: Enlightenment ideas led to democracy in America. Although the power of the monarchs was limited in England, some people in North America were not satisfied. Colonists there grew increasingly unhappy with both the king and Parliament.
The American Revolution • Some of the colonists disliked the laws and taxes that the British government imposed. • This led to protests and unrest among the colonists. The colonists met during the First Continental Congress and decided to resist the British. • Fighting began in 1775, and in 1776 the colonial leaders met again and drafted the Declaration of Independence. • The Declaration of Independence stated the people’s right to certain liberties. The document begins with a sentence that expresses the ideas of the Enlightenment about natural rights.
Main Idea 3: The French Revolution caused major changes in France’s government. As Americans fought for and created a new nation, the French paid close attention to these events. They were inspired by the Americans to fight for their own rights.
The French Social System • The French king ruled over a society split into groups called estates. • Clergy were members of the First Estate, and nobles were members of the Second Estate, but most people belonged to the Third Estate. • The Third Estate paid the highest taxes and had the fewest privileges. • The Third Estate formed its own group, called the National Assembly, and some of its members were familiar with Enlightenment ideas. • This group demanded that the king accept a constitution limiting his powers.
The Fall of the Bastille • When King Louis refused to give in to the demands of the National Assembly the common people of France stormed a Paris prison, the Bastille. This began the French Revolution. • The revolution spread throughout France, and the National Assembly wrote a constitution. It was called the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. • The king was forced to accept the constitution, but it was not enough. King Louis was put on trial and executed. • After the revolution, the Reign of Terror began, and France was in turmoil for many years. • The revolution was not a complete loss. Eventually France developed a democratic government.
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