20 terms


a movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions
Social Contract
the notion that society is based on an agreement between government and the governed in which people agree to give up some rights in exchange for the protection of others
Natural Rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
Heliocentric Theory
Every thing revolves around the sun studied by Galelo and Copernicus
Scientific Method
a series of steps followed to solve problems including collecting data, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and stating conclusions
injecting a person with a small dose of a virus to help him or her build up defenses to a disease
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.
Separation of Powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
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
Popular sovereignty
the idea that political authority belongs to the people
Navigation Acts
Laws that governed trade between England and its colonies. Colonists were required to ship certain products exclusively to England. These acts made colonists very angry because they were forbidden from trading with other countries.
French and Indian War
a war in North America between France and Britain (both aided by indian tribes)
Declaration of Independence
the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain
Articles of Confederation
the document that created the first central government for the United States; it was replaced by the Constitution in 1789
a form of government in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the states
US Bill of Rights
First ten amenments to the Constitution guaranteeing individual liberties and due process of law.
respecting the rights of others and giving them what is rightfully theirs
freedom of choice
Laissez-Faire capitalism
allowing industry to be free of state intervention, especially restrictions in the form of tariffs and government monopolies. The phrase is French and literally means "let do", though it broadly implies "let it be" or "leave it alone."
Informal social gatherings at which writers, artists, philosophes, and others exchanged ideas