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What is a Philosophe?

What social classes did most Philosophes belong to?

Most were either a part of the Aristocracy or a part of the Bourgeoisie.  Other classes did not have the education to have the background in politics and philosophy usually needed to converse in a salon, or the time to spend away from work doing so.

Explain the political beliefs of the following Philosophes:

·         Rousseau - General Will, Social Contract

·         Montesquieu - Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances

·         Voltaire - Religious Toleration

·         Hobbes - Social Contract, the Leviathan

·         Locke - Natural Law, Natural Rights

How did the Enlightenment change the way people thought about their world?

Increase in rational and secular thinking.  Starting to question things like the necessity of religion or the Church, and the purpose of governments, including Divine Right of Kings, and monarchies altogether.

How did the Enlightenment affect the way countries and governments worked?

(Think about the United States and France in particular)

The idea of the social contract.  Governments exist to protect the rights of the people.  Previously, people were obligated to follow the laws of the government, because it was put in place in the name of God.  It is almost a complete reversal in the theory of why governments exist, how they are formed (by the consent of the people), and how they interact with their citizens.  

Limited government, separation of powers, and even voting rights are largely thanks to the Enlightenment.

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