Idea of Aristotle, used in the Middle Ages, the earth-centered view of the universe in which scholars believed that the earth was an immovable object located at the center of the universe.
Alexandrian astronomer, (2nd century C.E.), who proposed a geocentric system of astronomy that was undisputed until the ideas of Copernicus changed scientific perception in the 16th century (the 1500's).
A major change in European thought, starting in the mid-1500s, in which the study of the natural world began to be characterized by careful observation and the questioning of accepted beliefs.
Theory developed by Copernicus in that the sun is the center of the universe, (sun-centered), but it did not accurately describe the motions of the planets as observed with new technology, telescopes!
A Polish astronomer, 1473 -1543, who proved that the Ptolemaic system was inaccurate, he proposed the theory that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system. His book, "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies," was published as he died.
Influenced by Copernicus; Brahe, died 1601, built an observatory and collected data on the locations of stars and planets for over 20 years; His limited knowledge of mathematics prevented him from making much sense out of the data.
Assistant to Tycho Brahe, he took Brahe's data and concluded that certain mathematical laws govern planetary motions. One law showed that the planets revolve around the sun in "elliptical" orbits, not circles as previously thought. He demonstrated mathematically that Copernican theory was essentially correct!
Italain astronomer, he created the modern experimental method. Formulated the law of inertia. Tried for heresy and forced to recant. Saw Jupiter's moons. Wrote Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World. Invented the first astronomical telescope for observing the night sky! Published "Starry Messenger" in 1610, which described his astonishing observations using the telescope.
A logical procedure for gathering and testing ideas; whereby a problem or question is stated, arising from an observation about nature or life; a hypothesis is formed which is then tested for being valid or true, data is analyzed from the test and a conclusion is then stated which either confirms or denies the accuracy of the initial theory proposed in the hypothesis.
English politician and writer, advocated that new knowledge was acquired through an inductive reasoning process (using specific examples to prove or draw conclusion from a general point) called empiricism; rejected Medieval view of knowledge based on tradition, believed it's necessary to collect data, observe, and draw conclusions. This was the foundation of the scientific method
Bacon's theory of inductive reasoning. One must experiment and then draw conclusions based on actual observations and not abstract hypotheses.
Developed analytical geometry, linking algebra to geometry; rather than use experiments, like Bacon, he approached science through mathematics and logic. He based his knowledge on a simple premise, "Cogito, ergo sum!" I think, therefore, I am.
English mathematician and scientist who invented differential calculus and formulated the theory of universal gravitation, a theory about the nature of light, and three laws of motion. His treatise on gravitation, presented in "Principia Mathematica," (1687), was supposedly inspired by the sight of a falling apple. Believed in God as a clockmaker, setting time and motion in order.
A Dutch eyeglass maker, he invented the first microscope in 1590.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek
A Dutch drapery maker and amateur scientist, he observed bacteria swimming in tooth scrapings using a microscope. He also examined red blood cells for the 1st time.
One of galileo's assistants, he developed the 1st mercury barometer, a tool for measuring atmospheric pressure and predicting weather.
Developed 1st thermometer using mercury in a glass, observed water freezing at 32 degrees in 1714. His temperature scale is named after him and is still used today!
A Swedish astronomer, created another scale for measuring temperature in a mercury thermometer in 1742. His scale shows water freezing at 0 degrees and water boiling at 100 degrees.
An ancient Greek anatomists who studied the anatomy of pigs and other animals and made conclusions about human anatomy based on these observations, assuming human anatomy was similar. Medieval scholars accepted his work as FACT.
A Flemish physician, he proved the work of Galen to be false. Vesalius dissected and studied human corpses and published his observations in a book, "On the Structure of the Human Body," in 1543. The book was filled with detailed drawings of actual human organs, bones and muscles!
In the late 1700's, this British physician Jenner inoculated people with small amounts of cowpox to prevent them from getting smallpox (1749-1823). This was the world's first vaccination.
Considered the Father of Modern Chemistry, this man pioneered the use of the scientific method in chemistry. In a book called "The Sceptical Chemyst," (1661) Boyle challenged Aristotle's belief that the physical world consisted of 4 elements - earth, air, fire and water. Boyle proposed that matter was composed of smaller elements that combined in many ways. His greatest contribution to science was in creating Boyle's Law.
The scientific law that describes the relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas at constant temperture; when volume increases, pressure decreases.
the act of injecting a germ into a person's body so as to create an immunity to the disease.
Laws of Gravity
Proposed by Isaac Newton, these laws govern planetary movements as well as motions on earth.
A new intellectual movement that stressed reason and thought and the power of individuals to to solve problems. Known as the Age of Reason, the movement reached its height in the mid-1700's and brought great change to many aspects of Western civilization.
English political thinker of the 17th century, expressed his views in a book, "Leviathan," (1651) in which the people gave up most of their rights to government in order to secure protection and peace. This was agreed upon by the people in a "social contract" with the monarchy which had absolute power over individuals.
English political thinker, proposed that all men are born free and equal and that they have 3 rights: life, liberty and property. Government's purpose is to protect these rights and if it does not, the people have the right to overthrow it. Government's power comes from the consent of the people, the basis for modern democracy today!
Thinkers of the Enlightenment; wrote each other to share ideas. Believed that people could apply reason to all aspects of their lives. Had 5 core beliefs: REASON-truth could be discovered thru reason and logical thinking; NATURE-what was natural was good; HAPPINESS-urged people to find happiness in the here and now, not the afterlife; PROGRESS-society & humankind could improve; LIBERTY-wanted what the English had won in the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights.
French, perhaps greatest Enlightenment thinker. Deist. Mixed glorification and reason with an appeal for better individuals and institutions. Wrote Candide. Believed enlightened despot best form of government.
(1689-1755) wrote 'Spirit of the Laws', said that no single set of political laws was applicable to all - depended on relationship and variables, supported division of government into branches of legislative, judicial and executive powers.
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power. First proposed by Baron de Montesquieu in his famous book, "On the Spirit of Laws," 1748.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Swiss philosophe who believed that civilization corrupts people. He believed that titles of nobility should be abolished and that governments should use direct democracy. "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."
The Italian philosopher who was against capital punishment and torture. He wrote that a person should receive a speedy trial and that governments should seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
A government in which citizens rule through elected representatives.
Articles of Confederation
This document, the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution. The document was limited because states held most of the power, and Congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage.
A meeting of delegates in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, which produced the new U.S. Constitution.
A system of government in which power is divided and shared between national and state governments.
checks and balances
system of overlapping the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to permit each branch to check the actions of the others, thus, preventing abuse by one branch or the other.
Bill of Rights
The first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the constitution in detail.
Declaration of Independance
A document written by Thomas Jefferson at the request of the 2nd Continental Congress, firmly based on the beliefs of John Locke and the Enlightenment, stating our firm belief in the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and containing a list of grievances with King George III of England; absolved the colonies of any allegiance to the British Crown!
American colonists' war of independence from Britain, fought from 1775-1783, won by the Americans.
King Louis XVI
King of France from 1774 to 1792; his unpopular policies helped trigger the French Revolution. He was executed by guillotine. Spent a fortune supporting the Americans in their fight with the British for independence.
British general whose campaigns in the south led to his defeat at Yorktown in 1781.
Boston Tea Party
demonstration (1773) by citizens of Boston who (disguised as Indians) raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the harbor
An act passed by the British parliament in 1765 that raised revenue from the American colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents
First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress convened on September 5, 1774, to protest the Intolerable Acts. 12 colonies, excepting Georgia, met and objected to Britain's arbitrary taxation and unfair judicial system.
Series of English laws in the 1650s that prevented colonists from trading and selling their most valuable products to any country except Britain. Colonists were also forced to pay high taxes for importing trade goods from France and Dutch merchants.
elaborate an extensive ornamentation in decorative art and architecture that flourished in Europe in the 17th century, referring to over-decorated art as in the Palace of Versailles!
Light and elegant art and architecture inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome. This style reflected Enlightenment ideas and can be seen on many buildings in Washington, DC.
A period of musical style from 1750-1800 that was new, lighter and more elegant. 3 composer from Vienna, Austria are among the greatest composers of this time, i.e., Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
A lengthy work of prose fiction.
A novel written by Henry Fielding that tells the story of an orphan who travels all over England to win the hand of his lady.
Considered the 1st true English novel written by Samuel Richardson which focused on a servant girl being pursued amorously by her master; virtue is rewarded in the novel.
French Philosophe, loved learning and developed the first Encyclopedia, many articles of which attacked superstition and encouraged religious toleration and others called for social, legal and political improvements that would lead to a more tolerant society. His 28 volume book was censored by the King of France and the Pope.
Informal social gatherings where writers, poets, artists, and philosophers exchange ideas (originated in France during the 1700s) and were hosted by rich woman of Paris. Ben Franklin and Voltaire were regular attendees at these events.
An absolute monarch who appeared to embrace (accept) ideas and made reforms that reflected the Spirit of the Enlightenment, but did not give up any royal power, i.e., Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great.
Known as the Great, worked to expand territory and prestige of Prussia, King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786, committed himself to reforming Prussia and declared himself "the first servant of the state!" But he never tried to change the existing social order.
(r. 1780-1790) coregent with his mother (Maria Theresa) from 1765 until her death-controlled Catholic church closely; granted religious toleration and civic rights to Protestants and Jews; abolished serfdom; peasant labor to be converted into cash payments; left his country in turmoil at his death.
Catherine the Great
This was the empress of Russia, ruling from 1762 to 1796, who continued Peter's goal to Westernize Russia, created a new law code, and greatly expanded Russian territory with acquisitions of Poland, the northern shore of the Black Sea.
The system of agricultural labor popular in eastern Europe in which peasants had no rights or freedoms and were forced to work on a landowner's estate.