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Scientific Revolution 1600 – 1700s

     The spirit of questioning from the Renaissance led to the questioning during the Scientific Revolution

 

Sir Francis Bacon

     The father of the “Scientific Method” –The method used to solve problems.

     Scientists examined natural laws governing the universe.

 

The Scientific Method

     1. Observation

     2. Hypothesis

     3. Experimentation to test the hypothesis

     If proven, it becomes scientific law (like the “Law of Gravity”)

 

Nicolaus Copernicus

     Challenged the traditional Catholic Church teaching of the “geocentric theory”

 

Galileo Galilei

     Italian astronomer who provided evidence supporting the heliocentric theory using the  telescope.

 

Sir Isaac Newton

     Used mathematics to prove existence of gravity and support heliocentric theory

 

Thomas Hobbes

      Background:

      Scientific thought influenced political theory in what we refer to as “natural law” (universal

      moral law that is understood by applying reason).

      Wrote Leviathon (1651)

      Argued that absolute monarchy is the best form of government since without it, there would be

     chaos and disorder.

      While people give up freedom, they gain a society with order.

 

The Enlightenment

     It was an 18th century movement among writers and intellectuals that applied natural law to

     politics and government.

 

Rene Descartes

     “I think therefore, I am”

     Descartes supported using reason (rather than tradition) to discover the truth.

 

 

Characteristics of the Enlightenment

 

     Enlightened Philosophers challenged traditional authority

     (ex. The church & monarchs).

 

     Enlightened Philosophers encouraged the improvement of existing society and government.

 

     Democracy, or rule by the people, as an alternative to absolutism, which denied people their

    basic natural rights.

 

     Laissez-faire capitalism, an economic system which the government has little control, as an alternative to mercantilism, which restricted free enterprise.

 

John Locke

       Two Treaties of Government.

     All people had natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

     The ideas of Locke were used to justify the American and French Revolutions.

      The king received his power to rule from the people who were entitled to rebel if he did not  rule

      in their interest.

      Government by the consent of the people.

 

 

Baron de Montesiquieu

      In Spirit of Laws Montesquieu encouraged the separation of government into three branches:

      Judicial

      Legislative

      Executive

 

Voltaire

     Authored Letters on the English.

     Favored the idea of a limited monarch.

     “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

 

Jean Jacques Rosseau

     The Social Contract. favored government based on the “general will” of the people.

     “Man is born free, and everywhere is in chains”.

 

Adam Smith

     Authored The Wealth of Nations.-Rejected the idea of gov’t control over the economy.

     Laissez-faire capitalism

     Supply/demand would regulate economy.

 

Results of the Enlightenment

     The Enlightenment inspired revolutions in:

     America (1775)

     France   (1789)

     Latin America (1800)

 

Results of the Enlightenment - This lead to a change in the basic relationship between people and their government

 

 

 

 


 Enlightened Despots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Practice Questions

Francis Bacon, Galileo, and Isaac Newton promoted the idea that knowledge should be based on

a)       the experiences of past civilizations      c) the teachings of the Catholic Church

b)       experimentation and observation          d) emotions and feelings

 

During the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, one similarity in the work of many scientists and philosophers was that they

a)       relied heavily on the ideas of medieval thinkers

b)       favored an absolute monarchy as a way of improving economic conditions

c)       received support from the Catholic Church

d)       examined natural laws governing the universe

 

Which statement best describes the effects of the works of Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, and René Descartes?

a)       The acceptance of traditional authority was strengthened.

b)       The scientific method was used to solve problems.

c)       Funding to education was increased by the English government.

d)       Interest in Greek and Roman drama was renewed.

 

Enlightenment Questions

 

 

“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.”

____ 1. The ideas expressed in the quotation are based primarily on the writings of

a)      Niccolo Machiavelli     b)  Charles Darwin       c)  Jean Jacques Rousseau     d) John Locke

 

____2. Writers of the Enlightenment were primarily interested in

a)      changing the relationship between people and their government

b)      supporting the divine right theory

c)      debating the role of the church in society

d)      promoting increased power for European monarchs

 

____3. The Enlightenment philosophers encouraged later political revolution with their support of

a)      socialism                            c) the divine right monarchies

b)      imperialism                        d) the natural rights of man

 

____4. The philosophers of the Enlightenment believed the government decisions should be based on

a)      fundamental religious beliefs             c) laws of nature and reason

b)      the concept of divine right of kings   d) traditional values

 

____5. Which reflects an argument of Enlightenment philosophers against the belief in the divine right of

             kings?

a)      god has chosen all government rulers

b)      A king provides law and order

c)      independence is built by military might   

d)      the power of the government is derived from the governed

 

____6. John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau would be most likely to support

a)      a return to feudalism in Europe

b)      a government ruled by a divine right monarchy

c)      a society in which the people chose the ruler

d)       a society ruled by the Catholic Church

 

____7. During the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, one similarity in the work of many

            scientists and  philosophers was that they

a)      relied heavily on the ideas of medieval thinkers

b)      favored an absolute monarchy as a way of improving economic conditions

c)      received support from the Catholic Church

d)      examined natural laws governing the universe

 

____8. Which statement best describes a change that occurred during both the Renaissance and the

            Enlightenment?

a)      feudalism became the dominant political system

b)      the use of reason and logic were discouraged 

c)      a new questioning spirit and attitude emerged

d)      technology and science were considered unimportant

 

 

 

 

 

____9. Francis Bacon, Galileo, and Isaac Newton promoted the idea that knowledge should  be based on

a)      the experiences of past civilizations     c) the teachings of the Catholic Church

b)      experimentation and observation          d) emotions and feelings

 

____10. Which statement best describes the effects of the works of Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei,

              Sir Isaac  Newton, and René Descartes?

a)      The acceptance of traditional authority was strengthened.

b)      The scientific method was used to solve problems.

c)      Funding to education was increased by the English government.

d)    Interest in Greek and Roman drama was renewed