English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED and in which the government serves the people; also said people have NATURAL RIGHTS to life, liberty and property.
The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.
Thinkers of the Enlightenment; Wanted to educate the socially elite, but not the masses; were not allowed to openly criticize church or state, so used satire and double-meaning in their writings to avoid being banned; Salons held by wealthy women also kept philosophes safe; They considered themselves part of an intellectual community, and wrote back and forth to each other to share ideas.
Charles de Secondat, the baron de Montesquieu
(1689-1755) came from the French nobility. he recieved a classical education and then studied law. in his first work Persian Letters, Published in 1721 he used the format of two persians supposedly travelling in western europe and sending their impresions back home to enable him to criticize french institutions especially the catholic church and the french monarchy. His most famous work, The spirit of the laws was published in 1748, these treatise was a comparative study of government in which Montesquieu attempted to apply the scientific method to the social and political arena to ascertain the "natrual laws".
FranÇois-Marie Arouet, Voltaire
exposed abuses of the day, targeted corrupt officials and ideal aristocrats, he battled inequality, injustice, and superstition, detested salve trade and deplore religious prejudice, defended freedom of speech, detested by the French government and the Catholic Church, He was perhaps the most dominant of Enlightenment thinkers. His death sometimes cited as the end of the era. Imprisoned or exiled for much of his early life and a favorite of Frederick of Prussia and Catherine the Great.
French philosopher who was a leading figure of the Enlightenment in France
Scottish philosopher whose sceptical philosophy restricted human knowledge to that which can be perceived by the senses (1711-1776)
Scottish economist who wrote the Wealth of Nations and designed modern Capitalism
policy based on the idea that government should play as small a role as possible in the economy