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The Enlightenment Thinkers:
Transcript of The Enlightenment Thinkers:
What were they thinking? How did their ideas change the world?
Throughout history, most governments were ruled by monarchies (rule by King or Queen).
People believed the King received his power from God. This is called Divine Right.
There was a hierarchy. Below the King, there were religious leaders like Bishops. Below them there were Nobles who the King gave land to in exchange for protection of land. The Nobles then had Knights to guard and protect the land. And the lowest class were peasants who worked the land.
The King had absolute power over the people.
Clergy, Religious Leaders
Nobles (Lords, Dukes,
During the Enlightenment, thinkers began to think...
about government in new ways.
He believed that people were born with evil and needed to be controlled.
He thought the idea of Absolute power was fine and did not need to be changed.
People are born with natural rights: life, liberty, and property.
Governments only exist to help people preserve these natural rights.
There is a contract between the people and the government. People must follow just laws to help society, but if the government breaks the contract by making unfair laws or exerting too much power, the people can rebel.
John Locke-Two Treatises on Government-
A government must have three separate branches: Executive (President/Prime Minister), Legislative (Congress/Parliament), and the Judicial (Court system).
Each of these branches has some power over the other branches to make sure no branch gets too much power.
Baron de Motesquieu-
The Spirit of Laws
When a government is created, a social contract is created between the government and the people.
The rights and the will of the people, must be maintained and preserved by the government.
If the government does not follow the will of the people OR if it is corrupt, then it should be overthrown.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau-Social Contract-
Voltaire thought that there should be separation of Church and State.
These ideas were spread through books, pamphlets, debates, and discussions in coffee houses, which leads to...
The American Revolution- 1775
The French Revolotion-1789
Revo-lutions in Latin America- 1830's
The Berlin Wall-
The fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR-1989-1991
And hundreds of others...
How can your ideas change the world?