Key Highlights from Chapter 18, The Enlightenment

Put an “X” in the column of the era which was characterized by the item:


Middle Ages

The Age of Reason

1. Feudal order, with serfs tied to the land, unable to move.


2. Strong Catholic Church influence


3. People should be in distinct classes, with assigned ranks.


4. All men are equal, (including women)


5. Science and reason should guide the development of society


6. Market economy where people work for money…


7. The divine right of kings


8. Belief in heavenly reward for earthly suffering


9. There should be social justice and material well-being.


10. Governments should protect natural rights


18.1 Philosophers in the Age of Reason

Philosopher Main Work Ideas
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan “State of nature” is “dog eat dog.” Strong government is needed.
John Locke Two Treatises of Government People have natural rights the government must protect or else....
Montesquieu The Spirit of the Laws Separation of powers: executive, legislative, judicial
Rousseau The Social Contract People are good, but corrupted by society, “the general will”
Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations Free markets, free trade, “invisible hand”, laissez faire
Voltaire   Wrote against inequality, injustice, and superstition
Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Women Equal education for women; the should not be dominated by men.

18.2 Enlightenment ideas spread by

š Diderot’s Encyclopedia

š Printer’s pamphlets

š Salons

š Enlightened Despots

š Culture (middle and upper classes; Peasants remained what they had always been…)

18.3 Britain, mid 1700s

Whigs (liberals-enlightenment ideas) and Tories (conservatives)

Cabinet made up of leaders of the majority party in the House of Commons, rule as long as Commons supports them

Head of the cabinet is the Prime Minister

George III (reigned 1760-1820) asserts royal power; North American colonists must pay for their own defense

18.4 Birth of the American Republic

Thomas Paine, Common Sense. Got Colonists debating

French and Indian War required British troops; Britain thought colonies should pay for their defense

Stamp Act, tax on tea, “No taxation without representation”

1775 fighting breaks out; Continental Congress convened. John Adams, Geo. Washington, Ben Franklin, Tom Jefferson

Continental Congress set up an army, declared independence from Britain

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

This led to war. It looked bleak for colonists. British had professional soldiers, huge fleet, money, 1/3 of colonists were Loyalists. Continental Army had little money for its soldiers, but they were fighting for their own land.

Turning point: French alliance 1781 Yorktown 1783 Treaty of Paris US independent, Mississippi is w. border

Articles of Confederation become Constitution 1787, 1789 ratified

The impact of Enlightenment ideas:

o Locke: a republic; government rules by consent of the governed. Revolt when government becomes destructive of natural rights.

o Montesquieu: separation of executive, legislative and judicial branches

o The US Constitution and its republic shone as a symbol of freedom to European countries and Central America.

o In France, 1789, a revolution in the name of liberty and equality toppled the monarchy.

o By the mid-1800s, most absolute monarchs across Europe would see their powers greatly reduced