Benchmark: SS.7.C.1.1: Recognize how Enlightenment ideas including Montesquieu's view of separation of power and John Locke's theories related to natural law and how Locke's social contract influenced the Founding Fathers.
Learning Goal: Students will be able to understand how Enlightenment ideas influenced the thinking of our Nation’s Founders.
The Age of Enlightenment (or Enlightenment Period) was a period of time between 1600-1800 in which people in the world began to look at their surroundings very differently. European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during this time. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism. (http://www.history.com/topics/enlightenment)
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