Enlightenment Study Guide

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The Enlightenment Movie Study Guide

Part One

1. What other names is often used when referring to the Enlightenment?

- Age of Reason

2. What was Sir Issac Newton's role in the Enlightenment?

- Along with other scientists he identified natural laws to explain the workings of the universe.

3. What changes did they encourage for social progress?

- Religious tolerance, educational reforms, and prison reforms.

4. What long-standing political belief did Enlightenment thinkers question?

- Whether monarchs ruled by divine right.

Part Two

5. What important idea did John Locke write about in the Two Treatises of Government?

- Government should protect the people's rights to life, liberty and property.

6. What was Voltaire's role in the Enlightenment Era?

- He was a passionate advocate for freedom of speech and wrote literary works attacking slavery and religious intolerance that were often banned.

Part Three

7. What important political idea did Montesquieu introduce?

- Three branches of government with checks & balances.

8. How did Jean-Jacque Rousseau ideas differ from other Enlightenment philosophers?

- He believed that instead of reliance upon reason, people should follow their instincts and emotions.

Part Four

9. Explain the Main Idea behind Rousseau's Social Contract?

- Government should be based upon a contract that allows people to rule themselves by adhering to the general will.

Analyze which Enlightenment philosopher expressed the most democratic ideas. Use at least three facts from the movies to support your answer.

I believe that Locke expressed the most democratic ideas. Locke’s book, "Two Treatises" stated that under the "social contract," the government's job was to protect "natural rights", which included "the right to life, liberty, and the ownership of property." From Locke, Jefferson borrowed the idea that all men are created equal, and he altered the right to...
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