Social Studies - 2019-20
WHII.5c - Absolutism and The Enlightenment
The student will apply social science skills to understand the political, cultural, geographic, and economic conditions in Europe and Russia from about 1500 A.D. (C.E.) to about 1800 A.D. (C.E.) by
c) describing the development of social and cultural patterns in France, with emphasis on the Age of Absolutism, Louis XIV, and the Enlightenment period;
How did new ideas spark change and conflict in the late 18th and throughout the 19th centuries?
UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD
The Age of Absolutism takes its name from a series of European monarchs who increased the power of their central governments.
Enlightenment thinkers believed that human progress was possible through the application of scientific knowledge and reason to issues of law and government.
Enlightenment ideas influenced the leaders of the American Revolution and the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
Characteristics of absolute monarchies
Centralization of power
Concept of rule by divine right
Louis XIV of France: Palace of Versailles as a symbol of royal power
Emphasized reason, analysis, and individualism
Stimulated religious pluralism
Fueled democratic revolutions around the world
Enlightenment thinkers and their ideas
Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan: Humans exist in a primitive “state of nature” and consent to government for self-protection.
John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government: People are sovereign and consent to government for protection of natural rights to life, liberty, and property.
Montesquieu: The best form of government depends on a country’s size, climate, and other factors; he popularized the concept of separation of powers.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract: Government is a contract between rulers and the people.
Voltaire: Hostile to religious fanaticism and to religious beliefs in general.
Influence of the Enlightenment
Political philosophies of the Enlightenment fueled revolution in the Americas and France.
Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence incorporated Enlightenment ideas.
The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights incorporated Enlightenment ideas.
Edict of Nantes
Unpopular Methods of Rule
Peter the Great
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Johann Sebastian Bach
Miguel de Cervantes