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Level 63

Enlightenment Thinkers


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The Enlightenment
educated Americans were attracted to this European movement in literature and philosophy, believed the "darkness" of past ages could be corrected by the use of human reasoning
Thomas Hobbes
Hobbes wrote that without government, life would be poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Presented the idea of the social contract. Leviathan
state of nature
A condition in which there is no government.
Social Contract
An implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 1…
John Locke
Wrote Two Treatises on Government as justification of Glorious Revolution and end of absolutism in England. He argued that man is born good and has rights to life, liberty, and property. To protect these rig…
natural rights
life, liberty, and right to own property
Charles de Montesquieu
French thinker. Major book was "The Spirit of the Law." (1748) He believed that tyranny (bad and evil kings) could be avoided by separating power between three branches of government.
Separation of Powers
The sharing of the government's power; the power is divided equally between the three separate branches of the government.
jean jacques rousseau
believed in the social contract, A French man who believed that Human beings are naturally good & free & can rely on their instincts. Government should exist to protect common good, and be a democracy
general will
According to Rousseau the general will is sacred and absolute, reacting the common interests of the people who have displaced the monarch as the holder of ultimate power.
democracy
A political system where people are able to decide who their leader will be.
French Salons
Informal meetings of French Enlightenment thinkers, writers, artists, and musicians usually in the homes of wealthy women. Important because it led to talking about new ideas outside of the nobles.
voltaire
used satire against opponents, (1694-1778) French philosopher. He believed that freedom of speech was the best weapon against bad government. He also spoke out against the corruption of the French government, and the intolerance of the Catholic Church.
Denis Diderot
French philosopher who was a leading figure of the Enlightenment in France, encyclopedia which was banned by the French king and pope.
Level 64