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Indiana World History Standards
WH.6.1 Examine how the Scientific Revolution, as well as technological changes and new
forms of energy, brought about massive social, economic, and cultural change.
(Economics, Government, Psychology, Sociology)
WH.6.3 Explain the concept of “the Enlightenment” in European history and describe its
impact upon political thought and government in Europe, North America and
other regions of the world. (Economics, Government)
WH.6.4 Compare and contrast the causes and events of the American and French
Revolutions of the late eighteenth century and explain their consequences for the
growth of liberty, equality and democracy
Today’s Objectives
- To analyze the development of new political, social, and economic philosophies during the
Age of Enlightenment
Old Regime (Old Order)
• Age of Reason (18th Century) or Enlightenment
→ Just as the Scientific Revolution used reason to understand the
physical universe
…others sought to use natural law to create ideal governments
& societies
→ Enlightenment writers faced censorship because they challenged
the Old Order (Monarchy, Nobility & the Church)
…they justified this censorship by arguing that God set up the Old Order
…some writers had to disguise their
work as fiction to avoid persecution
• Thomas Hobbes
→ English philosopher, wrote Leviathan
…who believed that mankind is,
by nature, “selfish & wicked”
…without gov’ts to maintain order, human life would be
“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”
→ To avoid this destiny, men and their rulers must agree to a
“social contract”
…whereby all rights are given up
to a strong, absolute ruler (a leviathan)
…who in return eliminates chaos to
provide law & order
…if the government fails,
people are justified in
overthrowing it
-Charles I
• John Locke
→ English philosopher, wrote Two Treatises of Government, who believed
that the expectation of gov’t is not simply to provide law and order
…but also to protect the natural rights that all possess upon birth
- life, liberty, property, health
→ When gov’t fails to protect these rights, the people earn the right to
overthrow it
→ Changed the perception of WHY we have gov’ts:
-Hobbes: People exist to serve their government (Old Order)
-Locke: Governments exist to serve the people (Enlightenment)
social contract
• Philosophes
→ In the middle of the 18th century, French philosophes were meeting
in the salons of Paris
…using reason to discuss and debate solutions to social
and political problems of their time
…philosophes changed the way people thought about government &
…planted the seeds of the coming revolutions
Essential Question
What obstacles did Enlightenment writers face? Why? How
did they overcome these obstacles?
Target Questions
• How was the Scientific Revolution similar to the
• What was the social contract?
• How did Locke change the perception of government?
• Who were the philosophes?
Required Reading Question(s)
1) What was an enlightened despot?