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Enlightenment Philosophers DBQ

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Enlightenment Philosophers DBQ

What were the main ideas of the enlightenment philosophers the society? The enlightenment philosophers where writing about four different areas of human society. In the late 17th and 18th centuries many changes were accruing and these philosophers helped make these changes with their ideas by meeting in French salons and English drawing rooms. John Locke political ideas, Voltaire ideas of religion, the economic ideas of Adam Smith, and the woman’s independence ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft. They helped build a new human society with their new and unique ideas. John Locke main idea was every individual’s equal rights and fairly equal government. Locke believed that the individuals of the same species and rank should be treated equally within one another without subjection or subordination. He says that all men are naturally in “a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature…” he is saying that men have the right to control their own freedom. Locke appears in recommend the legislative and executive branches to the right to create a new government if the old one fails. Locke wrote these words in 1689 and it had an impact in the declaration of independence 8 years later. This shows that John Locke’s ideas had an effect on our government today. (Document A) People’s freedom of religion was the main idea of philosopher Voltaire. In the royal exchange representatives of all nations met to discuss how to benefit mankind with people of all nations Voltaire said “If one religion only were allowed in England, the government would of possibly become arbitrary. “If there where but two, the people would cut one another’s throat; but as there are such a multitude, they all live happy and in peace. “He thought that England was allowing a multitude of religious is a good thing so people could live in happiness and peace. Voltaire and John Locke main ideas focus on individual freedom and both of their ideas effect our society today. (Document B) Another philosopher, Adam Smith main idea was that the government shouldn’t regulate trade and let people buy and sell what the y desire. He supported an economic system based on individual decision making because he thought no ruler can possibly sufficient information to manage an economy. According to Smith most individuals work to earn money and benefits themselves. He mentions an “invisible hand” meaning a force that acts on the whole society so needs will be met by one pursuing an individuals that work for themselves make the whole society better off is the happy and unexpected result when people pursue their own economic gain according to Smith. This shows that people’s economic freedom benefits society in many ways. (Document C) The Fourth Philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft main idea equal rights and education for woman. Wollstonecraft believed that woman compared to men were inferior, “For they are made so inferior by ignorance and low desires, as not to deserve to be ranked with them.”She recommended for woman to be allowed to be educated in order to make woman equal to men. She wrote these words in 1792, when the French revolution was going on at the time.
Wollstonecraft used the methods of reason and experience to reach her conclusions. Mary Wollstonecraft ideas helped contribute to woman being equal to men. (Document D) In Conclusion these philosophers focused on different areas of human society but their ideas where all for a better society, a stronger nation. They all questioned traditional ways of living and knowing. These philosophers were all hopeful that they might discover new ways to understand and improve human society. Their tolls believed necessary to find the truth of things where areful observation and clear-headed reasoning, Locke, Voltaire, Smith, and Wollstonecraft main ideas were similar because they all showed focus on individual’s freedom that would improve society.

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