The Age of Enlightenment 1700-1789
Objective • To understand the ideas behind the Age of Enlightenment • To understand how those ideas affected politics and society
The Age of Enlightenment • A period of intellectual exchange in Europe during the 18th century • “Progress” • A desire for political and social change
The Age of Enlightenment • What made the Enlightenment possible?
The Philosophes (Fee-luh-zawes) • Intellectuals who discussed ideas • Used reason to explain their world • Believed that Reason could improve society • Believed in tolerance for all religions
The Philosophes: How might the Salon encourage the free exchange of ideas?
Voltaire (1694-1778) • French intellectual who criticized French society
Voltaire • He was critical of intolerance and of attempts to suppress personal freedoms. • “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” • He championed the cause of religious freedom and freedom of thought.
John Locke (1632-1704) • Treatises on Government: that individual rights were superior to laws and governments. • Essay on Human Understanding • “Tabula Rasa”
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) • Published the Encyclopedia in 1772 • Attempt to compile information on everything
Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) • French political philosopher • The Spirit of the Laws: tried to describe the perfect government. • He believed in a division of government into three branches. Checks and balances. Executive, legislative, and judicial branches
Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) • Jewish philosopher in Amsterdam • Belief in religious toleration
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) • The Social Contract (1762) Believed that all people are naturally good, but that environment, education, and laws corrupt them. • The “General Will” • Good Gov’t was popular sovereignty: that gov’t must be created by and controlled by the people.
Adam Smith (1723-1790) • First modern economist • The Wealth of Nations (1776) • Laissez-Faire
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) • Wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women • Founder of modern feminism • That men as well as women should be equal and enjoy the same rights!
The American Revolution • Was the American Revolution just a revolt against British taxation? • How was it based on Enlightenment principles? • In what ways is the Declaration of Independence based on John Locke’s Treatises on Government?
Conclusion • The Enlightenment was a period of intellectual exchange in Europe during the 18th century • Several factors contributed to the Enlightenment • Philosophes expressed desire for social and political change