Feb 22, 2016
Political philosopher English In the natural world only the strong
survive, unless order is created by a great and powerful ruler
Wrote Leviathan in 1651 In the beginning there was anarchy to
stop violence and danger people chose a leader to rule them and created a social contract.
The Social Contract was based on the exchange of individual liberty for group safety and social order.
Political philosopher English Accepted the idea of a social contract, but
believed that people had only given up some of their individual rights.
People should keep the right to live, enjoy liberty, and to own property.
Rulers should protect those rights. A ruler who violated those rights, had
broken the social contract.
John Locke cont.
He wrote Two Treatises of Government He argued that individual rights were
superior to laws and governments. Governments existed to protect those
rights. No ruler should have absolute power. A ruler who denied people their
fundamental rights was a tyrant and could be
overthrown by the people
1700’s The belief that truth can be
determined solely by logical thinking was called rationalism.
The belief of natural law. Objects in nature are expected to act
in ways that were predictable. God had created the world and all
The role of God in the Enlightenment To live in harmony, people must live
according to natural law. God did not interfere in human
affairs Individual actions mattered most in
determining the future. Some downplayed the importance of
religion this is called secularism. They believed there should be a separation of church and the government.
Thinkers of the Enlightenment Not philosophers but critics of society. The Encyclopedia- a handbook describing
the ideas of the Enlightenment Edited by Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert Between 1715 and 1772 It criticized many things in society such as
the church, the government, the slave trade, torture, taxes and war.
Diderot imprisoned for The Encyclopedia
Baron de Montesquieu French Adopted ideas of John Locke Wrote The Spirit of the Laws -1748
He described the perfect government Great Britain had the best at the time That government should be divided into three
branches He believed that the balance between the three
branches would provide checks to political power.
Baron de Montesquieu- contributed to the U.S. Constitution
Voltaire (pen name)
Francois-Marie Arouet French Wrote satires making fun of the
French monarchy, the nobility, and the religious controls of the church.
Imprisoned twice and exiled to Britain
Freedom of Speech He wrote, “I may disapprove of what you
say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Wrote Philosophical Letters Also believed Great Britain had the best
from of government. Wrote Candide- where he made fun of
prejudice, bigotry and oppressive governments.
Also believed in Freedom of Religion
Jean Jacques Rousseau
French Published the Social Contract
He wrote that people are born good, but that it is their environment, education and the laws of the land that corrupt them.
He believed that people needed to be able to choose their own government based on popular sovereignty.
That government must be created and controlled by the people.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
English Wrote A Vindication of the Rights of
Women She believed in equality of the sexes. Wanted personal freedom and
economic independence Education for women so that women
could be better mothers. Women should have a say in the
Italian Wrote On Crimes and Punishments Believed we needed a criminal
justice system but that it should have nor torture or cruel and unfair punishments or fines.
This is a government where an absolute monarch would govern, but according to the principles of the enlightenment
There must be government AND individual freedom
1.The 17th century is known as the Age of Enlightenment. T/F
2.Natural law means that objects in nature act in predictable ways. T/F
3. The Encyclopedia was a history of France. T/F
4. Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that people are naturally corrupt. T/F
5. Popular sovereignty is when a monarch is liked. T/F