The Age of Reason and Revolution

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 7 (1893 words) Published: October 29, 2012
B. The Age of Reason and Revolution (1750-1800) – 8 points

Definition: An 18th-century movement marked by an emphasis on: 1.rationality rather than tradition
2.scientific inquiry instead of unquestioning religious belief 3.representative government instead of monarchy

1.Devoted to the ideals of justice, liberty, and equality as the natural rights of man 2.The universe is a logical, orderly place
3.Man will one day uncover the laws that govern the universe 4.Science led to a decline in the importance of religion in everyday life 5.Deism – based knowledge of God on reason, not revelation

C. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) (Fill in the blank notes) – 5 points (If you have misplaced the handout, then all notes should be copied by hand to be turned in)

- Devoted to improvement: self-improvement and the improvement of society - writer, scientist, inventor, diplomat, and political thinker - A major contributor to establishing the USA as a country independent of Great Britain - helped found the first public library in America

- helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776
- was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787
- Poor Richard’s Almanack was his biggest publishing success

The Autobiography:
- recounts his rise to financial success
- is addressed to his son
- offers advice on life and living
- is illustrated by stories – some exaggerated – from his own life

Summary of The Autobiography:
1. “Leaving Boston”
- Young Franklin leaves his brother’s print shop at the age of 17 to seek work in New York. - Finding no work there, he hears of a job in Philadelphia.
- He sets sail for Philadelphia, gets caught in a storm, and suffers several mishaps.
1. They are stuck in a boat with no food or water; they’re wet and have poor shelter
2. He gets a fever
3. He’s suspected of being a runaway servant
- Once on land, he walks 50 miles to Burlington, New Jersey, where after some adventures, he finds a boat to Philadelphia.

2. “Arrival in Philadelphia”
- He writes about his first day in the city and describes his impressions.
1. He can get a lot more bread for his money in Philadelphia than in Boston, showing that there are great differences among the colonies.
2. He gives his extra bread to a mother and her child, showing he is kind and thinks of others

3. “Arriving at Moral Perfection”
- He describes his plan for achieving an ethical and disciplined life. - He lists 13 important virtues, their definitions, and his plans for mastering them, revealing that he believes people are capable of improving themselves.

Poor Richard’s Almanack:
- Poor Richard was an imaginary astrologer who had a poor wife named Bridget. - First published in 1733
- The wittiness of these aphorisms lies in their clever use of multiple meanings, connotations and associations; we see Franklin’s humor, insight, and philosophy through them. - Aphorism: A brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life. - Denotation: The dictionary definition of a word.

- Connotation: The emotional associations of a word.

D. Patrick Henry (1736-1799) (Fill in the blank notes) – 5 points (If you have misplaced the handout, then all notes should be copied by hand to be turned in)

- was a youth during the Great Awakening
- a lawyer and one of the most persuasive figures in Virginia politics - 1765: chosen to represent his region in the VA House of Burgesses - against the British Parliament’s Stamp Act, which taxed all newspapers and public documents – one of the two most famous speeches in American Colonial history; 2nd most famous was his “liberty or death” speech in 1775 when the colonies were nearing the breaking point with England.

Time Period:
- December 1773 – The Boston Tea Party – British closed the port of Boston and established other harsh measures referred to by the colonists as the “Intolerable Acts.” - When the first...
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