Enlightenment and
the American
Revolution
World History
ESSENTIAL QUESTION:
Philosophes Apply the Scientific Revolution
to Society to solve problems: 1700-1800s
Focused on
Individualism,
Freedom, &
Change
Apply
“reason” to
human nature
Combined
LOGIC and
REASON
Weaken
church and
absolute
powers
Philosophes Apply the Scientific
Revolution in: 1700-1800s
Challenge
absolutism
and divine
rule
Question
the
government
Solve
human
problems
Use science and reason
to…
Denis Diderot
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Put together a
collection of
Teach to think
critically &
Salons
question
the writings of
the major
philosophes
Essential Question
Philosophe, Thomas Hobbes
Humans are
naturally selfish
& fearless
Life in nature is
nasty, brutish, &
short
Need an absolute
monarchy to keep
the social
contract, impose
order, & manage
corrupt behavior
Social contract =
exchange of
freedom for
protect &
security from the
government
Philosophe, john locke
People are born
with “unalienable
rights”
LIFE
LIBERTY
PROPERTY
Philosophe, john locke
• Rulers are NOT absolute in power and must remain
bound to laws of reason and nature
• Should protect people’s natural rights
• Humans have free will
• Idea of divine right and kings is NONSENSE!!!
• Citizens have the right to overthrow the ruler if the
ruler does not represent the people
• Sovereignty
Ideas of modern democracy
Philosophe, Baron de Montesquieu
Montesquieu
Baron
de
It’s NATURAL for rulers with ABSOLUTE POWER to use
power in corrupt manner… therefore… we must…
Philosophe, Baron de Montesquieu
…spread power evenly
over three branches of
government – ensures
freedom, liberty, no
corruption…
SEPARATION OF
POWERS (Checks &
Balances)
a. Legislative – Made
laws (Congress)
b. Executive –
Administered laws
(Pres.)
c. Judicial – Interpreted
and applied laws
(Supreme & Federal
Courts.)
Philosophe, jean jacques
rousseau believed that people are…
born
good
corrupted
by bad
laws
corrupted by
the
environment
corrupted by
bad
government
Philosophe, jean jacques
rousseau
• He believed the best
government used
POPULAR
SOVEREIGNTY or a
vote by all of the
people
• “General Will” OR
Common Good
• A Social Contract is
necessary.
MAJORITY RULES
Philosophe, Voltaire
• Used public opinion to fight injustice
“I do not agree with a word
you say, but I will fight to the
death for your right to say it.”
Believed the perfect government needed
freedom of speech and of religion.
Assignment applying Enlightenment
Thinkers
Create an Encyclopedia Cover,
authored by Diderot using
each last name as a piece of
“word art” to symbolize each
philosophe’s belief of human
nature & government:
* Voltaire
*Hobbes
*Locke
*Montesquieu
*Rousseau
… Or Write a Poem titled: “Ode to
Reason” reflecting the human
nature & government
expressions of:
* Diderot
*Voltaire
*Hobbes
*Locke
*Montisquieu
*Rousseau
Enlightenment Ideas Spread
1775-1783
The right to unalienable rights and the right
to representation
Enlightenment Ideas Spread
1775-1783: Background
• Background
• Opportunity in colonies=cheap, land,
social advancements, new identity
• British needed to pay for the French
and Indian War (Britain v. France over
power in North America and
Caribbean) =taxed colonies
Causes of the American
Revolution
“Great upheavals in history occur when
circumstances are ripe.”
French and
Indian War
(1754-63)
Drained
Britain
treasury
Passed and
enforced new
tax laws on
the colonists
Causes of the American
Revolution
“Great upheavals in history occur when
circumstances are ripe.”
New tax
laws on the
colonists
“No taxation
without
representati
on”
OH NO!!! …
You tell me

Assignment
Causes of the American Revolution
Mission:
• Analyze the political
cartoon “Causes of the
American Revolution”
• Identify the symbols that
outline the causes of the
war
• Use your textbook (pages
182-184) to create a
detailed timeline
explaining the causes of
the American Revolution
Major Topics:
• French and Indian War
1754-1763
• Trade Laws 1764
• Stamp Act 1765
• Townshend Act 1767
• Boston Massacre 1770
• Boston Tea Party 1773
• Intolerable Act 1774
Causes of the American Revolution:
1. French and Indian War
2. Taxes on Colonies
1. Stamp Act 1767: Stamps on newspapers,
public documents, legal papers (help pay war
debt)
2. Townsend Act 1767: Tax on glass, paints, tea
1. Boston Massacre 1770: Merchants in Boston called
for a boycott of British goods=British sent troops to
keep order=shots fired, kill 5 people=repealed most
taxes except that on TEA
Causes of the American
2. British treasury is
Revolution
1. Mercantilism
drained during the
French and Indian War
Causes of the
American
Revolution
3. Trade Laws 1764
4. Stamp Act 1765
The Townshend Act 1767
Boston Massacre 1770
Causes of the
American
Revolution
Boston Tea Party 1773
Intolerable Act 1774
Causes of the American Revolution:
3. Colonists React to British
*Public Assembly: led to Boston Massacre
*Civil Disobedience: Sons of Liberty (Samuel
Adams & Paul Revere) protest by dumping tea into
harbor=Boston Tea Party 1773
*Representation: 1st Continental Congress
1774 (Philadelphia), list of grievances
NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENATION
Causes of the American Revolution:
4. British Counters Opposition:
*Intolerable Acts -limited rights of colonists even
more after Boston Tea Party (Boston port closed, British troops
can’t be punished, British Governor in charge, no rights!)
*Lexington and Concord 1775=British troops
leave Boston in search for hidden weapons, meet
militiamen in Lexington and Concord
5. Declaration of Independence:
*2nd Continental Congress 1776: July 4, 1776
*Thomas Jefferson wrote using Locke and
Rousseau and English Bill of Rights
Causes of the American Revolution:
Review
French & Indian War: Britain Needs $  Blame Colonies for Cost SO….
TAX THE COLONIES
↓
Stamp Act & Townsend Act
↓
Boston Massacre
↓
Boston Tea Party
↓
Intolerable Act
↓
REVOLT (build up weapons  Britain send more troops)
“Great upheavals in history occur when circumstances are ripe.”
Lexington and Concord 1775= Shots
World:
Heard Around the
Critical Thinking
Why were the first shots of the American revolution
considered the “Shots heard around the world?”
Write a critical response using your current knowledge.
THINK!!!!
Declaring Independence
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
• 2nd Continental Congress 1776: July 4, 1776
• Thomas Jefferson wrote using Enlightenment
thought
It’s a brave new world in America!
Out with monarchy and in with democracy!
Rights of individuals!
Government must answer to the people!
Declaration of Independence
• Drafted by Thomas
Jefferson
• People had the right to
“alter or abolish unjust
governments.”
• Popular sovereignty
• All government power
comes from the people
• King had trampled the
peoples’ natural rights.
• Colonists now had the right
to rebel
Application Activity:
As we have alluded to the Enlightenment ideas of democracy
impacted the American revolution and the founding of our
nation. It is now your job to make the proper connections.
1. Work with a partner near you.
2. Read the excerpts from the Declaration of Independence
3. Highlight, Define, Visualize, Clarify, Predict
4. Write the ideas in everyday words  make it simple to
understand
5. Match the proper Enlightenment philosophe(s) with the idea(s)
expressed in the excerpt
Articles of Confederation
1781
• Created National Government with little power
because they didn’t want to create a mini-me
Britain
• Could not tax
• Could not navigate with foreign nations
• It failed…SO
United States Constitution 1789
The Constitution – page 186-187
• Used ideas of Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau and
Voltaire
• Created a Representative Democracy (REPUBLIC)
• Government in which power is divided between
the national (or federal government) and the states
• Separation of powers (3 branches)
• Citizens VOTE
• Bill of Rights added later: Amendments 1-10
Federalist Papers – Writing campaign to convince
American citizens to ratify the new Constitution
First President: George Washington.
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Enlightenment and the American Revolution