enlightenment/ age of revolutions ids

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Nicholas copernicus

Born in 1473 in Poland, was an astronomer who made enormous contributions to the field of science during the scientific revolution. While attending the University of Krakow, Copernicus discovered his interest in astronomy and mathematics. Later at the University of Bologna, he was informed of Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe, which he distrusted. In his major work, The Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, Copernicus presented his idea of the heliocentric system of our universe. He concluded that the Earth and other planets made annual revolutions around the stationary sun. This was a revolutionary idea that received much criticism from the Catholic Church. His ideas would eventually greatly alter scientific thought; however, he would not live to witness these changes. Copernicus died in 1543 after the publication of his book. (Margo Fitzpatrick)


is a form of government in which the King has total power over all matters of the state. From the 1500's through the early 1800's the majority of the European powers were under the rule of an absolute monarch. These leaders ruled under Divine Right, meaning that they believed that God had called them to rule so the only had to answer to Him. Typically, under the rule of a strong absolute monarch, a country would flourish. Laws would be unified, huge standing armies were created, and the arts would be a main focus. Not all about absolutism was good though. Under an absolute monarch, countries usually went into extreme debt due to their immense spending and large armies. Also, the lower class people usually did not receive the benefits like the higher class people did.

Some prominent absolute monarchs include Catherine the Great of Russia, Peter the great of Russia, Louis XVI of France, and Frederick William of Prussia.

code napoleon

was the French civil code created by Napoleon in 1804. Under this code all priviliges received from birth were done away with, had tolerace (the freedom of religion), and government jobs go to the most qualified. It was the first modern legal code to be adopted with a European feel. It influenced many of the countries law created after the Napoleonic War. This code, with its stress on well written and accessible laws helped in aiding the damage of feudalism. This was one of the few codes that influenced the whole world.

issac newton

was born on December 25, 1642 at Woolsthorpe manor in England. His father was a farmer who passed away recently after Newton's birth. fell under his grandparents care when his mother remarried three years later. Newton's love of science appeared at a young age. He would construct mechanical toys and models. In 1661 Newton was excepted into Trinity College, Cambridge University, however he had to wait tables in order to pay his way through.Two discoveries gave Newton his reputation of a scientific genius. The first being creation of a differential calculus which allowed the calculation of rates of change . Secondly, while experimenting with the prisms of light he discovered how to build the first truly workable reflecting telescope. However the most important discovery Newton made was gravity and the laws of motion. Upon this discovery a young astronomer ,Edmond Halley, convinced Newton to publish his set of Laws and even financed the deal. In 1687 Newton's book Philosophiae Naturalis Principian Mathematica. In his book Newton explained his three laws of motion and formed his theory of gravity from those three laws. In 1701 Newton was elected into Parliament where he held his position until his death. Newton's laws made up most of modern physics until Albert Einstein came along.


As a young child was abandoned at a young age and became a wanderer. He migrated to France and lived with a woman who had a major influence over all of his philosophical views. He was was raised my a Catholic woman, Madame Louise. He had many ideas about society and believed that men were born good, but then corrupted by society. He was an advocate for education and school. Rousseau also believed that you learn by doing and from all your experiences that you experience. He wanted the dissemination of knowledge and the search for freedom. His contributions were Emile which talked about let children grow and "learn and do" and the Social Contract which stated all were "born free" meaning they are all

adam smith

is known as "the father of the science of political economy." He provided tremendously intellectual explanations for the interactions, prosperity, and impacts of the Brititsh economy in the 18th century. Originally being a popular, young professor at Glasglow, Smith became extremely interested in studying society and all of its aspects. Also known as moral philosophy, Smith invested a large majority of his time in investigating the field of ethics, jurisprudence, economics, politics, and religion, where he left a tremendous mark through his findings. With his research, Smith began writing speeches and giving lectures on his new lasting ideas that soon became extremely influential and respected. In 1759, his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, was published and is responsible for beginning Smith's fame-filled lifestyle. Smith had ideas in the form of "synthesising" the perspectives of the social region and interpreting the power by which it functions. In dealing with his views on the economy and its success, Smith was a strong supporter in "laissez-faire." Through this system, Smith encouraged members of society to discourage the involvement of government, hoping for a highly noninterference way of individual conduct. This idea, of a self-regulating economy, greatly veered away from the previously accepted thought; however, many people soon turned to this form of economical development. Furthermore, he advocated the opportunity and ability of all people, despite class, to make contributions to the society's economy. With another book in 1776, the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith became an iconic figure in the 19th century and throughout history. His book spread globally, as he soon gained the reputation of being an "intellectual giant" who made lasting contributions to the British economical system.

louis xvi

was born in 1754 into the French royal family. At the age of 15, he married the 14 year old Marie Antoinette in the hopes that it would repair the weak relationship between France and Austria. From the time he took the throne in 1774 until the start of the French Revolution, he ruled as a very indecisive yet still powerful absolute monarch. During the Revolution, the people viewed him as the symbol of what needed to be changed in France. After trying to flee France during the rebellion, he was tried for treason and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. Later, he would be executed by the guillotine leaving behind the opportunity for the rebels to start their new monarchy under the Constitution. (Peeler)

national assembly

served during the French Revolution as a transition between the old Estates General and the new body formed in the Constitution called the National Constituent Assembly. The Assembly formed when the Estates General was called in 1789 to deal with the problems with taxing in France at the time. They felt that the third estate was not well represented in the Estates General because they got the same amount of votes as the first and second even though they made up the vast majority of the population. The men involved took the Tennis Court oath saying that they refused to disband until a Constitution was written. Throughout the Revolution, the Assembly passed many influential decrees, like the August 4th Decrees and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. These men were the leaders of the push for change in France. Finally, when the new Constitution was made, the Assembly dissolved itself to make room for the new National Constituent Assembly

john locke

was a physician and philosopher in England in the mid 1600s. He is often called the Father of Liberalism. He also influenced many of the Enlightment thinkers and American revolutionaries. He is especially known for his belief in tabula rasa, or blank slate which means that we are not born with ideas, rather that we gain knowledge through experiences. He also was a main person in the Scoial Contract theory. (Less)

edward gibbon

was a historian in England in the mid-1700s. He was born in Surrey into a wealthy family, although he was a sickly child and all of his siblings died. The love of his life ended up marrying someone else, so he never married. He is best known for his work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which was published in 1776 to 1788 in 6 different volumes. He also sat in the House of Commons in 1774 and 1783.

david hume

was born in 1711 in Scotland. He studied at the university of Edinburgh. He was a writer, historian, philosopher, and economist. He was known for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. His History of England was one of his most influential works, having set a new and higher standard for the future of history books, although he took the most pride in his philosophic writings. These would include A Treatise of Human Nature, the Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, andConcerning the Principles of Morals. Many of his philosophical and religious beliefs were unconventional, especially for his time. He was accused of heresy and atheism several times and was once almost excommunicated.

concordat of 1801

was signed by Napoleon and Pope Puis VII on July 15, 1801. Its main purpose was to reverse the assembly's orders in the Civil Constitution of the Clergy that the Catholic Church should be under the rule of the state and not the Pope. It showed that the Catholic Church was very dominate in France and symbolically brought back the high status of the church. But more importantly, this made the large number of Catholics in France happy while still giving Napoleon power over the church. (Peeler)

johannes kepler

was born on December 27, 1571. He was a disciple of Tycho Brahe. Kepler was a huge supporter of the ideas of Copernicus. After Brahe died, Kepler became his successor. Kepler studied and analyzed the movements of Mars in order to figure out the true orbits of the planets. He soon discovered that Mars moved in a elliptical path, not a circular one. (Cox) He proposed that all the planets moved in elliptical paths around the sun. He is responsible for the three laws of planetary motion.(Akangbe) Kepler's ideas and theories were most vibrant during the late 16th century. He lived and worked mainly in Germany.

tycho brahe

was an astronomer who developed the modern view of the solar system. His observations of the heavens were the most accurate and precise. One day he observed a comet that passed through the solar system without "shattering" the supposed spheres. From this observation, he created the theory that maybe the planets did not revolved around the sun in a circle, but rather in an ellipse-like shape. He also discovered that there were more heavily bodies further than the moon.

glorious revolution

Revolution spanned from 1688 to 1689. It occurred without bloodshed so; therefore, it is called glorious. This showed that changes in power could be made without bloodshed. Because of the revolution, after 1688 no king or queen tried to govern without Parliament. Parliament strengthened its control over the collection and expenditure of public money as well as advocated the civil liberties now guaranteed within the Bill of Rights. Still there were arguments over both money and power. Parliament was against absolutism, but loved the ideas of checks and balances which set them on the pathway which led to France being more democratic than anyone else. This was very important in terms of the history of England and of everyone else.

francois quesnay

was born in Merey in 1694 and went to be a surgeon's apprentice at the age of 16. A little while after that, he went to Paris to study and learn medicine. He ended up being surgeon ordinary to the king and then stayed permentantly at Versailles, studying under Mme. de Pompadour. M. de Gournay, an economist Quesnay became aquainted with, helped him found the Economistes, a philosophic sect which was later called the Physiocrates. He published the Tableau economique (Economic Tables) in 1758, and also coined the term "laissez-faire,laissez-passser.


Born in 1694 in Paris, France, was one of the greatest French philosophers of the 18th century. He was famous for his being a leader in the Enlightenment and for his crusades against social injustice and religious intolerance. was a historian, philosopher and playwright. He discovered his love of literature and theater when he attended a Jesuit college. He often got himself into trouble and was exiled to England, where he started to follow the teachings of John Locke and Isaac Newton.is important because he wrote many plays and changed the way we study history. Before him, history was mainly about wars and kings, but he included the common people and culture. Also, he was a famous deist.


was a French philosopher born in Bordeaux, France in January of 1689, and he lived until February of 1755. did a lot for France, and it's government. His favorite form of government was a constitutional monarchy with different types of government to suit the situations of all the countries, depending on their size, soil, population... divided the government into three sections(monarch, republic, and despot) and believed that no type of government was superior to the others. was greatly influenced by the English system of government. He helped in the issuing of checks and balances, so that the king would not have all the power. was a philosopher during the Enlightenment, so his influences began during the time period of the Enlightenment. However, many of his influences still affect the government today. He was a French philosopher, and therefore his influences were in France. was a philosopher and voiced his opinion because he believed that separating political powers and restricting the king's power by a system of checks and balances would greatly improve France's government.


A body of five directors that were in control from November, 1795 until November, 1799. They shared the powers of head of state. This governing body preceded the consulate and came after the convention and the virtual rule of the Committee of Public Safety when the Robespierre and the Jacobins ruled.


Born October 15, 1713 in France, was the main organizing contributor and wrote a wide range of topics for the Encyclopedia. In 1751 the Encyclopedia first appeared, it is a collection of the most contemporary philosophical, scientific, and technical knowledge, even with contains articles written by the current philosphes of that time. thinking was that the Encyclopedia would change the way of thinking and to give light on the new developments in science and technology. intent was the end all "superstition" and get people thinking about science development. wanted to write in the Encyclopedia about how religion followings should be questioned, but due to the laws of censorship, could not publish his articles.The Encyclopedia was so popular it was reprinted numerous times and spread threw out Europe.

congress of vienna

was held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815 by ambassadors of European states. They wanted to settle the many issues that the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire caused. They established boundaries and created the spheres of influence through which several nations such as Austria, Britain, France, and Russia settled local and regional problems. It was the first meeting of the Concert of Europe, which was a series of meetings which were an attempt to create a peaceful balance of power in Europe. This served as an example for the later United Nations and League of Nations. This conference set the framework for the future of European international politics until the First World War.

René Descartes

Born on March 31, 1596 in the town on La Haye in the French providence of Touraine, is known as the father of analytic geometry and modern calculus and the theoretician who provided the philosophical foundation for modern science. He wanted to discover a sure foundation for absolute human knowledge. brought in the modern philosophical era by separating the working of the human mind from not the mechanical actions of the human body but also from all of the natural world. He traveled the world and published many works on his theories of mathematics, the physical sciences, and philosophy. He believed that God was the perfect being because he saw the limitation and imperfection of humanity, and that to know God was to know that human knowledge was capable of absolute certainty. He believed that one should doubt everything and then deduce what is true through experimentation. His famous quote is "I think therefore I am." He died on February 11, 1650 in Sweden.


born May 24, 1743 in Prussia, was a tremendous advocate of the beliefs and aspects fought for during the French Revolution. He was a journalist, politician, public speaker, and "fiery character." His passion carried his desire for change and positive reforms vigorously into the minds of people during the French Revolution period. Additionally, it has been said that "Marat's radical denunciations of counter-revolutionaries supported much of the violence that occurred during the wartime phases of the French Revolution." Obviously a tremendous supporter of the French Revolution, Marat made lasting contributions to his followers through his writings of inevitable passion, persistence, and stamina. His fiery thoughts on needed change for the Third Estate spread throughout France, making him one of the most radical and extreme leaders during the Revolution.

Francis Bacon

was born on January 22, 1561. At the age of 23, began a career in law. He eventually began writing all of his theories down and he did most of his work in the early 17th century. He was very involved in the development of scientific method. He believed in observing things with one's senses. Once he had the idea, he began to gradually work towards a more specific goal. He also established an inductive approach where everything would be tested and analyzed in order to be proven true. Bacon eventually got in trouble and was put in the Tower of London and he died in 1626 while still awaiting pardon from the new king.

Cesare Bonesana Beccaria

Cesa was born on March 15, 1738 in Milan, Italy to an upper- class family. He went to a Jesuit school and went on to graduate from University of Pavia law school in 1758. Beccaria wrote and published a book called "Crime and Punishment". This book was the first structural critique of the ideas of the punishment of criminals. Beccaria fought towards the end of capital punishment. He also believed that punishments should match the crime that was committed, not the class of the criminal. He was heavily against the practices of torture and secretive trials. Beccaria's book has been a major influence on many government systems of criminal law, especially in the United States.

Galileo Galilei

was born in 1564 and spent the majority of his youth getting a very good education. Out of school, he taught mathematics in schools and traveled around lecturing. During this time he wrote his first book and made a military compass. After a few years of this, he decided to go into astronomy. He created the first telescope and made many discoveries with it. He agreed with Copernicus that the earth is not the center of the universe. Because of this and his many controversial books, the church put him on house arrest for the rest of his life for disagreeing with the church's doctrines.

Maximilien Robespierre

was born in Arras, France on May 6, 1758. He is one of the best known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He was in command of the Committee of Public Safety and was active during the period of the French Revolution known as the Reign of Terror. His activeness during the Reign of Terror ultimately led to his arrest and execution. was largely influenced by the philosophes, Rousseau and Montesquieu. He was called "The incorruptible," by his supporters, and his opponents called him a bloodthirsty dictator

Georges-Jacques Danton

was born on October 26, 1759. became a successful lawyer and by 1787 he went on to become an advocate of the Royal Council. In 1790, he founded the Cordeliers Club, which was a revolutionary group. With all of the unrest of France because of King Louis IV, he soon came to the conclusion that there was no way a revolution would not happen. He was also a member of the Jacobin Club. influenced the attack on the Tuileries which resulted in the king and queen's imprisonment. was among the group of people that suggested and voted on killing the king. became the first president of the Committee of Public Safety in April of 1793. In the same year, he and others began the Reign of Terror. is still considered one of the best leaders of the Revolution that overthrew the French monarchy. Unfortunately, Danton was killed on the guillotine on April 5, 1794 after being accused of trying to rebuild the French monarchy.

Thomas Hobbes

(1588-1679) is considered the founder of "English Moral and political philosophy" and he was a "social contract" theorist. He believed that the human is inherently evil and that mankind could not go through life without an absolute monarchy ruling over him (in particular the monarchy of England). The people have to give up freedom so the king can protect them from themselves. Hobbes published these views in his work, The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic. Both Parliamentarians and Royalists disagreed with his theories. was also a strong believer in allowing the monarch control over the Christian church, which he said would eradicate holy wars and other problems with the church. His most famous work was,Leviathan: Or, The Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil, which pointed out solutions for "fixing" man's egotism, the basis of all problems. In 1628 he translated Thucydides' Peloponnesian War and later in life he translated the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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