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Ch. 6

Enlightenment and Revolution

geocentric theory The theory that planets and stars orbit the Earth. This view was attributed to Ptolemy and was supported by the Catholic Church.
heliocentric theory The theory that the Sun is orbited by the Earth and the other planets. This view is based on the work of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. Though opposed by the Catholic Church, it has endured as our view of the universe today.
Scientific Revolution A new way of thinking about the natural world that was based upon careful, direct observation and a willingness to question accepted beliefs.
Galileo Galilei Galileo was an Italian who came into conflict with the Catholic Church when he supported the work of Copernicus. His observations of the Moon and Jupiter through the use of a telescope helped dispel old views of the heavens.
scientific method Scientists use observation, experimentation, and reason to gather knowledge and draw conclusions about the physical world.
Isaac Newton Newton helped bring together the work of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo into a single theory of motion. His "universal law of gravitation" said that every object in the universe attracts every other object, and helped explain planetary motion.
Ptolemy Ptolemy was credited with the geocentric theory that was popular in Europe during the 16th-17th centuries.
Nicolaus Copernicus This Polish mathematician studied the movements of planets and reasoned that the Earth orbited the Sun. This view challenged the accepted teaching of the Catholic Church.
Enlightenment This intellectual movement began in the 17th century. It stressed reason and thought and the power of the individual to solve problems. Ideas formed during the Enlightenment directly lead to the American and French revolutions.
social contract An agreement by which people create governments is called a social contract. Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau had different views of the social contract, but all tried to explain how people relate to their government.
John Locke Locke was an English philosopher who held a positive view of humanity. He believed people are born free and equal with 3 natural rights - life, liberty, and property. Governments are supposed to protect those rights, and can be overthrown if they don't.
Thomas Hobbes Hobbes was an English philosopher who held a negative view of humanity. He believed people form governments to gain law and order. However, an absolute ruler was necessary to maintain control. The people couldn't revolt against this government.
Jean Jacques Rousseau Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher who believed the social contract was an agreement among free individuals to create a society and a government. He also believed in direct democracy and in equality for all people. He helped inspire the French revolution.
Baron de Montesquieu Montesquieu was a French writer who promoted a separation of powers within a government. His views were (incorrectly) drawn from the British government. He also believed in checks and balances.
Mary Wollstonecraft Wollstonecraft promoted education for women and urged women to enter medicine and politics. Her daughter, Mary Shelley, would become a world-famous author.
Declaration of Independence Issued in 1776 by the Second Continental Congress, this document explained to King George III why the British colonies were revolting. It was based on Locke's social contract theory.
Thomas Jefferson Jefferson was the author of Declaration of Independence, which he based on the writings of John Locke, as well as other Enlightenment writers. He supported free speech, religious freedom, and other civil liberties.
checks and balances Under a federal system, the different branches of the government are able to check the actions of the other two. This keeps one branch from becoming too powerful. Montesquieu developed this idea.
federal system A government that splits its power between a national and state governments is a part of a federal system. This system provides a strong central government while using state governments to curtail its power.
Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. These amendments protect a citizen's civil liberties from the national government. Many of them were advocated by Voltaire, Rousseau, and Locke.
Created by: calebgunnels