Philosophy/Science [1700's]

How have these ideas developed American society?

The Enlightenment

  • Scientific and intellectual discoveries in 17th-century Europe

  • Valued scientific and human reasoning over random traditions and religious reasoning

  • More emphasis on education, politics, and government

  • Was a rival to the Great Awakening

  • Put emphasis on Science, took away from faith beliefs

  • Also called the Age of Reason

  • Isaac Newton and John Locke were important in pushing these new ideas

The Spread of Science

  • Science was increased through building of Universities and Colleges, where more secular ideas were being discussed and taught
  • These included Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton)
  • A major organization for science was in England, called the Royal Society of London
  • It was headed by merchants, planters, and theologians
  • Reason and Knowledge should improve society

Smallpox Inoculation

  • This was the beginning of vaccines
  • At first, controversial
  • Process:
  • 1. In order to prevent Smallpox in the future, the doctors would inject subjects with mild cases of smallpox
  • 2. This would cause the body to build immunity
  • 3. If the person came in contact with a stronger case later, they would be able to fight it off
  • In England, some of these were successful
  • Cotton Mather, a Puritan theologist, believed that Smallpox was a sin
  • He inoculated people during a major epidemic, which caused many people to see the effectiveness of the technique
  • This came to being more widely excepted and became a common practice for the future of American medicine

Important People

John Locke
  • 2 Treatises of government
  • Believed in natural rights - Life, Liberty, Property
  • Popular sovereignty
  • Influenced the Declaration of Independence

Isaac Newton
  • Developed the laws of motion
  • Foundation for physics
  • Taught throughout colleges, even the church colleges
  • Disproved many religious and traditional ideas

Thomas Paine
  • Wrote a pamphlet called "The Common Sense"
  • Advocated independence from England
  • Sold many copies, big influence

Baron de Montesquieu

  • French philosopher
  • Wrote The Spirit of Laws
  • Major contribution to political theory
  • Known for thoughts on the separation of powers

The Impact of the Englightenment