The Age of Enlightenment:  An Age of Reason     (552-558 & 564-571)

LITERATURE  (* Not in Flash-Cards)

*Letters on the English by Voltaire

*Elements of the Philosophy of Newton by Voltaire

Candide by Voltaire

Encyclopedia by Denis Diderot & Jean le Rond d'Alembert

*On Crimes and Punishments by Cesare Beccaria

Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

*The Persian Letters by Baron de Montesquieu

Spirit of the Laws by Baron de Montesquieu

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau



- What influence would the Newtonian worldview have on the ideas of the Enlightenment

  and the call for reform throughout Europe?


- What influence would the emergence of a print culture have on the ideas of the Enlightenment

  and the call for reform throughout Europe? 


- How did the print culture create "public opinion," and what impact would it have on European





- What conclusions were reached by Beccaria when he applied the rational laws of nature to

  criminal law?


- Why did many philosophes oppose mercantilism?  How did the physiocrats hope to reform the

  role of government in the economy of France?


- What complaints did Adam Smith have against the mercantilist system?  What did Smith

  propose would encourage economic growth?


- Why did the most important political thought of the Enlightenment occur in France?


- In what ways did MontesquieuĠs opinions toward reform in France identify him as a political



- In what ways was Rousseau's vision of reform much more radical than that of other

  contemporary writers?


- What did Rousseau hope to imply when he began The Social Contract with the line, "All men

  are born free, but everywhere they are in chains"?




Cesare Beccaria                       Denis Diderot                          Montesquieu



Jean-Jacques Rousseau              Voltaire


Scientific and Enlightenment Influences on Women and Religion (466-473, 558-563, & 571-575)

         The Royal Society of London


LITERATURE  (* Not in Flash-Cards)

*Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei

*Christianity Not Mysterious by John Toland

*Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire

*Inquiry into Human Nature by David Hume

*The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

ƒmile by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft



1.  Why were noblewomen, such as Margaret Cavendish, and women associated with artisan

     crafts, sometimes able to engage in the activites of the new science?  Why were most women



2.  Identify the three major challenges posed to religion by the new science?


3.  On what grounds did the Catholic Church censure Copernicus' work?


4.  Explain Pascal's argument that it is a better bet to believe that God exists than not to do so. 




5. Describe the radical criticisms of Christianity made by Edward Gibbon.


6. Describe the relationship between God and nature as defined by Spinoza.


7.  How did European writers of the 18th century portray Islam, and in what ways did they

      attack it?  In what ways did the views of Voltaire and John Toland toward Islam differ?


8.  What did the Ulama, the Islamic religious establishment, teach Muslims about the





9. How did the salons of Paris allow women to participate in the Enlightenment?  What benefits

     did the salons provide to the philosophes?


10. What was the general attitude of the philosophes toward women and their social condition? 

     Describe the specific opinions of women presented by Montesquieu and Rousseau, as well as

     that presented in the Encyclopedia.


11. Despite his view that men and women occupy separate spheres, in what ways did Rousseau

     achieve a vast following among women in the eighteenth century?


         Unit XV Reading Quiz #1



Enlightened Absolutism (580-589)

Patent of Tolerance (1781),   Josephinism,   Charter of the Nobility,   Pugachev's Rebellion



- What role did the philosophes expect existing monarchies to play in carrying out the reforms

  they had proposed to the political problems of their day?


- How did the Seven Years' War provide incentive for the enlightened absolutists to adopt

  Enlightenment policies?


- List the enlightened reforms carried out by King Frederick the Great of Prussia.  Then 

  identify the benefit(s) each of these reforms provided to the Prussian state.


- How did Frederick the Great's description of himself as "the first servant of the State" reflect

  an important change in the European view of the ruler?


- As Queen of Austria, Maria Theresa carried out reforms dealing with both primary education

  and the welfare of Austria's peasants and serfs.  In what ways were her reforms in both of

  these areas intended to benefit the Austrian state?


- Of the many enlightened ecclesiastical reforms of Emperor Joseph II of Austria, it can be said

  that all were carried out in the pursuit of two basic goals.  What were these two goals?


- How did Catherine the Great's familiarity with the writings of the Enlightened philosophes

  influence her opinion toward Russia?


- What did Catherine the Great hope to gain by issuing the Charter of the Nobility - a

  guarantee of many rights and privileges of the Russian nobility?


- What outside influence might have prompted the rapid succession of the second and third

   partitions of Poland in 1793 and 1795 respectively?


- By the end of the 18th century, what factors prompted all three of Europe's enlightened

  absolutist regimes to become more conservative and politically repressive?  Which single

  event ultimately brought a final end to the experiment of enlightened absolutism?


         Unit XV Reading Quiz #3




Frederick II of Prussia              Joseph II of Austria                  Catherine II of Russia