Explaining the political, religious, and social ideas of the Enlightenment and the ways in which they influenced the founders of the United States.
- Applied reason to the human world, as well as to the rest of the natural world
- Stimulated religious tolerance
- Fueled democratic revolutions around the world
Enlightenment thinkers and their ideas
- Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan: Humans exist in a primitive “state of nature” and consent to government for self-protection.
- John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government: People are sovereign and consent to government for protection of natural rights to life, liberty, and property.
- Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws: The best form of government includes a separation of powers.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract: Government is a contract between rulers and the people.
- Voltaire: Religious toleration should triumph over religious fanaticism; separation of church and state.
Influence of the Enlightenment
- Political philosophies of the Enlightenment fueled revolution in the Americas and France.
- Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence incorporated Enlightenment ideas.
- The Constitution of the United States of America and Bill of Rights incorporated Enlightenment ideas
Describe the expansion of the arts, philosophy, literature, and new technology.
Representative composers, artists, philosophers, and writers
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Baroque composer
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Classical composer
- Voltaire: Philosopher
- Miguel de Cervantes: Novelist
- Eugène Delacroix: Painter (transition to the Romantic School of the nineteenth century)
New schools of art and forms of literature
- Painting depicted classical subjects, public events, natural scenes, and living people (portraits).
- New forms of literature evolved, such as the novel (e.g., Cervantes’ Don Quixote).
- All-weather roads improved year- round transport and trade.
- New designs in farm tools increased productivity (agricultural revolution).
- Improvements in ship design lowered the cost of transport.