Contemporary Cultures: 1600 to the Present

Standard 7-2 Review
Contemporary Cultures: 1600 to the Present
Standard 7-2:
The student will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of limited
government and unlimited government as they functioned in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries.
Enduring Understanding
The relationship between citizens and their government is a fundamental component of political rule.
To understand the role of constitutions, the characteristics of shared powers, the protection of
individual rights, and the promotion of the common good by government, the student will utilize the
knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:
Analyze the characteristics of limited government and unlimited government that evolved in
Europe in the 1600s and 1700s.
What are the characteristics of an unlimited government?
The ruler has no limits and has absolute control of the citizens. The ruler makes all the decisions and
expects total obedience from the citizens.
What are the characteristics of a limited government?
There are limits placed on the government, citizens are given individual rights, and citizens can
participate in government decisions.
What would be classification of most of the monarchies in Europe during the 1600s and 1700s?
They were unlimited, absolute monarchs who believed in “divine right”.
In what ways did France and Russia create absolute monarchies?
Both France and Russia raised taxes, dissolved their legislative bodies, and used the military to enforce
How was England a limited government?
King John signed the Magna Carta that put limits on his power. In addition, after the Glorious
Revolution, William and Mary signed the English Bill of Rights that granted powers to the
Parliament and rights to the people.
Explain how the scientific revolution challenged authority and influenced Enlightenment
philosophers, including the importance of the use of reason, the challenges to the Catholic
Church, and the contributions of Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton.
How did the Scientific Revolution begin?
The age of exploration revealed new knowledge to Europeans and they began questioning many longheld beliefs.
On what did scientists base their knowledge instead of faith?
The scientists used reason or logical reasoning as a base for their beliefs.
What did Copernicus theorize and why was it controversial?
He believed in the heliocentric theory and this was contrary to Ptolemy’s geocentric theory and church
Who supported Copernicus’ theory?
How did Newton contribute to the scientific revolution?
He proposed the laws of motion that challenged old theories.
Why was the scientific method important?
This gave scientists a logical procedure for testing theories.
Why was the Catholic Church against the teachings of the scientific revolution?
The church was afraid of losing political, social, and economic authority if their teaching was questioned.
How were philosophers inspired by the scientific revolution?
Philosophers tried to apply reason to governments and began to challenge the unlimited governments
of Europe.
Analyze the Enlightenment ideas of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, and
Voltaire that challenged absolutism and influenced the development of limited government.
What are the two components used to classify governments during the Enlightenment?
The state of nature and the social contract theory are used to classify governments.
What is meant by the state of nature?
This is a theoretical time before governments were created.
What is the social contract theory?
This theory suggests that the people being governed and the government have a mutually beneficial
What did John Locke believe?
He believed all people were born with natural rights and that the government should protect those
rights. If the government did not, then the people could abolish the government and create a
new one.
What did Jean-Jacques Rousseau believe?
He believed that governments should support the “general will” of the people. Policies should be
determined by majority rule.
What did Baron de Montesquieu believe?
He believed in the separation of powers in government and a system of checks and balances. He
supported three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
What did Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) believe?
Voltaire believed in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.
Explain the effects of the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution on the power of the
monarchy in England and the growth of limited government.
Who took the throne of England after the death of Queen Elizabeth I and why did this cause problems
for England?
James I was named king and he did not feel the monarchy should be limited by the Magna Carta.
Why did the English Civil War begin?
King Charles I dismissed Parliament and even sent soldiers to arrest some members. This divided the
Royalists (Cavaliers) against the Puritans (Roundheads).
Who won the English Civil War?
The Puritans won and Oliver Cromwell became “lord protector” of England.
What is the Restoration?
After Cromwell died, and his son resigned, Charles II was asked to take the throne and the monarchy
was restored.
Why were Protestant leaders unhappy with James II, who took the throne after Charles II died?
He was Catholic and leaders feared he would try to make England a Catholic nation once again.
What was the Glorious Revolution?
Protestant leaders secretly met with William of Orange and his wife, Mary, who was the daughter of
James II. William and Mary agreed to take the throne and sign the English Bill of Rights.
What did the English Bill of Rights do for the people of England?
The English Bill of Rights limited the monarch’s powers, stated powers of Parliament, and stated the
rights of individual citizens.
Explain how the Enlightenment influenced the American and French revolutions leading to the
formation of limited forms of government, including the relationship between people and their
government, the role of constitutions, the characteristics of shared powers, the protection of
individual rights, and the promotion of the common good.
How did the Enlightenment influence the writing of the Declaration of Independence?
Thomas Jefferson used John Locke’s ideas of citizens’ rights. He felt England had violated the rights of
the Colonists. Therefore Jefferson felt the Colonist had the right to abolish their government, which was
another of John Locke’s ideas.
How did Enlightenment ideas influence the writing of the Constitution of the United States?
In itself, a constitution embodies John Locke’s idea of a social contract. Voltaire’s ideas of “equality” and
“freedom of the individual” were used. Montesquieu’s idea of government organization (three
branches) was put into practice.
How did the American Revolution influence the French Revolution?
French troops fought with the American colonists against the British. Therefore many French people
began to see the undemocratic nature of their own government and desire a change.
What is the role of a constitution?
A constitution puts limits on the government’s powers, outlining what a government can and cannot do.
A constitution establishes the structure of a government and is the supreme law.
What are shared powers?
The Constitution provides for each branch of the federal government to share powers. In addition,
under federalism, power is shared by both the federal and state governments.
How are our rights as citizens protected?
Our rights are protected by the Bill of Rights which were inspired by John Locke’s ideas of natural rights
and also includes some of Voltaire’s rights.
How do citizens participate in our government?
Citizens elect representatives or may become representatives. Promotion of the common good was
inspired by Rousseau’s ruling by the general will, also known as popular sovereignty.
What is the oldest written constitution?
The Constitution of the United States was the first and is the oldest written constitution.
What is an unwritten constitution?
An unwritten constitution is a collection of traditions, precedents, legal rulings and documents.
What is a “positive” constitution?
This kind of constitution describes a government’s roles and responsibilities. In other words, what it
must do for its citizens.
What is a “negative” constitution?
This kind of constitution describes what a government cannot do, its restrictions. The U.S. Constitution is