The Age of Reason and Revolution

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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

Beliefs:
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)

WHO:
- 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)

WHO:
- 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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