 1300-1600
 What was the Renaissance?
○ resurgence of learning based on
classical sources (Greeks) and
gradual but widespread educational
 What was the Reformation?
○ Questioning of the church and beliefs
(Martin Luther- 95 thesis)
Main Idea
scientists and thinkers
created GREAT
changes in science, the
arts, government, and
 New ideas from the
Enlightenment would
help lead to the
American Revolution.
Nicolaus Copernicus, 1543.
Scientific Revolution
Middle Ages: Europeans followed what the Greeks,
Romans, or Bible said about the physical world
 Thought earth was the center of the universe
mid-1500s, scientists began to question accepted
beliefs out of curiosity
Discovery of new lands with new plants and animals
raised even more curiosity! (what was this age
Description: created new theories based on:
1. Willingness to question old beliefs
2. Observation
3. Experimentation
Significance at the end!
Philosopher Group Activity
Read about your Philosopher in your book and
then the handout as a group
Create a 2 minute speech on:
 Biography: Where was the philosopher born? What
was his upbringing? What was his job? Where did he
study? What book did he write?
 Philosophical Ideas: Did this political thinker think
people could govern themselves? Is humankind
basically good or bad? What, if any, are the
underlining ideas behind this person’s thinking?
 Beliefs in government: What did this thinker believe
is the best form of government? Did this thinker
contribute any new political ideas?
Scientific Revolution
Nicolaus Copernicus: discovered the earth
revolved around the sun like the rest of the
planets and the moon around the earth
 Feared attack so did not publish till his death!
 (Significance on next page)
Galileo Galilei: made several discoveries that
disproved several ancient beliefs
 Created one of the 1st telescopes to study planets
 Findings went against the church and was forced to
deny his findings about the planets’ surfaces
 His ideas still spread!
 Before: Geocentric:
Earth was center of
the universe
 After: Heliocentric:
Sun was the center
of the universe and
earth and the other
planets revolved
around it.
Scientific Method
New interest in the physical world lead
to a new approach in exploration
 Created by Descartes + Bacon
1. Asked a question
2. Form a hypothesis/ Attempt to answer
3. Perform experiment
4. Use results to prove or change
Isaac Newton
Law of Gravity
 Used mathematics to show
the motion of the planets
had the same impact on
humans on earth
every object in universe
attracts every other
New Inventions Emerge!
Microscope: allowed to see creatures to
small for the naked eye to see
 Weather tools: barometer and
 New instruments lead to better
observations, new discoveries
Scientific Revolution
Significance: Rejection of ancient
accepted beliefs, went against the
church, and found new ways to study
science using the scientific method!
 Scientific Method became a new
philosophy used all over the world and
still today!
The scientific revolution encouraged a
new way of thinking.
 Scholars and Philosophers began to
 Religion
 Government
 Education
 Economics
(Institutions of Society)
Why is it call the age of
It was a period of new intellectual philosophies
that stressed reason, thought, and the power
of individuals to solve problems
No longer just accepted beliefs, they wanted
evidence for the actions of the institutions of
Also known as the age of reason!
Significance: Changed the way people viewed
society and would lead to several political
Old School vs. New School
Hobbes (absolute power) vs. Locke (natural rights)
A monarch’s rule is justified
by divine right
A government’s power
comes from the consent
of the governed
Government Philosophers
Thomas Hobbes (Social Contract)
 Document: Leviathan
 Dealt with human nature
 Discussed the relationship between citizens
and their government
 Believed people give up some of their rights
in exchange for law and order (rights for
 Significance: His Ideal Government was an
Absolute Monarchy: a ruler that had total
power and keep citizens under control.
Government Philosophers
John Locke (Natural Rights)
 Document: Two Treaties of Government
 Locke disagreed with Hobbes!!!
 Positive view of human nature
 Believed all people are born free and equal with
the natural rights of life, liberty, and property
Unlike Hobbes:
 Locke believed government existed to protect
these natural rights and if they failed to do so the
citizens should overthrow their government
Philosophers of Reason
 Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of religion and
 I do not agree with a word you say but will defend to
the death your right to say it”
 Separation of powers: split up power instead of
allowing a absolute ruler to call all of the shots
 Checks and Balances: Each branch should have a
power check on the other branch to limit their power
Philosophers of Reason
 Human Freedom
 Promoted a society
where all people were
 “Man is born free, and
everywhere he is in
Women in the Enlightenment
Male philosophers spoke of equal rights
but left out women!
 “All men are born free” How did women
all of a sudden become born slaves?
 Mary Wollstonecraft
 Argued that women, like men, should
receive an education
Sec.3 Spread of Enlightenment
Main Idea: monarchs (leaders) who
accepted the new reforms tried to start
ruling justly (fairly)
 Salons: no not hair salons but social
gatherings where philosophers,
scientists, and others got together to
discuss ideas
 Combine their ideas to create the
Encyclopedia: banned by the church at first
Changes in Music and Art
Neoclassical: art that combined the
styles of Greece and Rome (stressed
order and simplicity
Classical Music (lighter and elegant) and
the Novel become popular
Enlightened Despot
Monarchs who embraced Enlightenment
 Catherine the Great of Russia
○ Tried to embrace enlightenment but met resistance
○ Actually ends up giving nobles more power instead!
○ Significance: Tried to reform but failed
 Frederick the Great of Prussia
○ Supported Religious Freedom
○ Improved Education
○ Reformed the Justice System
○ Did not end serfdom: peasants remained slaves to
landowners (issues dealing with equality)
○ Significance: Made modern reforms
Sec.4 The American Revolution
Main Idea:
Enlightenment ideas
helped spur the
American colonies to
shed British rule and
create a new nation!!!
Main Theme of Enlightenment
Change the relationship between the
citizens and their government
 We’re tired of being treated unfairly under
Absolute Rule!!!!!
Colonists began to see
themselves less and
less as British subjects
and became angry with
the way Britain was
trying to control them.
 Actions by Britain lead
to revolution
Causes of the Revolution
High Taxes
Britain began to tax the colonies to help pay for
their costly wars causing outrage
Colonies had never been taxed by the mainland
before and felt their rights were being broken
Boycotted (would not buy) British goods in
response to the taxes
 Hurts Britain’s economy and they removed the tax
Enlightenment ideas create the spread of the
desire for independence
Declaration of Independence
July 1776: Announced their
independence to Britain through the
Declaration of Independence that
contained ideas from enlightenment
 American Revolution: Were able to
successfully overcome the power British
Army (David vs. Goliath)
Americans Create a Republic
Checks and balances (Montesquieu)
 Each branch prevented the other from
abusing power
Federal System
 Power is divide between the state and
national governments
Bill of Rights
 Ten amendments added to the constitution
protecting basic rights
○ Locke, Voltaire
Impact of American
 The combination of the enlightenment
and the success of the American
Revolution lead to 19th century
revolutions in Latin America
Who Do You Think Believed This?
Humans are naturally selfish
Government is necessary to keep order
Without government, the world would be chaotic
Giving up some of your rights in exchange for
law and order sounds like a good idea
The purpose of government is to protect the
citizens’ rights
If the people do not agree with the government,
then the people have the right to rebel and
demand change.
Who Do You Think Believed This?
It is important the power is separated and not
given to one person
Humans are naturally good
All people should be free and equal, without
social classes and social hierarchies
10. People
know how best to govern their own
affairs, not the government.

Enlightenment and Revolution, 1550–1789