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Ch 5: The Scientific Revolution & the Enlightenment (1500-1790)

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to learn how innovative thinking in science and philosophy influenced the world. Take the quizzes that follow each lesson to check for understanding.

The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, 1500-1790 - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

We see technology evolving at an amazingly rapid rate. As it does, our society experiences immeasurable changes. Imagine the world 500 years ago, when old world views were beginning to be challenged, and new thinking was emerging. Science, religion, politics - they all became objects of discussion, debate, and exploration. This chapter takes you through a dynamic period of history in which innovative ideas triggered new points of view. This chapter can help you understand the following:

  • Impacts of the Scientific Revolution
  • Major thinkers in science, philosophy, politics and religion
  • Relationship between ideas of the Enlightenment and government
  • Revolutionary backlash

Video Objective
The Scientific Revolution: Definition, History, Causes & Leaders Explore how innovators in science and philosophy broadened the world views of their time.
Breakthroughs in Medicine and Chemistry Look at the scientific revolution's impact on the sciences.
Effects of the Scientific Revolution Explore how scientific breakthroughs changed society in philosophical, religious, and practical ways.
Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views Compare and contrast the ideas of Hobbes and Locke.
The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas Learn how enlightened thinkers influenced the demand for democracy.
Enlightened Despots in France, Austria and Prussia Study the impact of leaders such as Louis XV, Louis XVI, Maria Theresa, Joseph II and Frederick the Great.
Enlightened Despots in Russia Look at the reforms and goals of Russia's Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.
Reform in Great Britain Examine how England was changing politically in the 1700's.
Causes of the American Revolution Review the events that lead up to the American Revolution and explore major turning points of the war.
Effects of the American Revolution Understand how America's victory over Great Britain affected the world.

10 Lessons in Chapter 5: The Scientific Revolution & the Enlightenment (1500-1790)
The Scientific Revolution: Definition, History, Causes & Leaders

1. The Scientific Revolution: Definition, History, Causes & Leaders

In this lesson we explore the Scientific Revolution and the controversy which surrounds the very term. Additionally, we learn about just a few of the most important thinkers of the period who laid the foundation for our modern understanding of the world.

Breakthroughs in Medicine & Chemistry: Examples & Empiricism

2. Breakthroughs in Medicine & Chemistry: Examples & Empiricism

In this lesson, we explore the medical and chemical breakthroughs which occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries as part of the era's increased emphasis on empiricism and the concurring Scientific Revolution.

Effects of the Scientific Revolution

3. Effects of the Scientific Revolution

In this lesson, we explore the philosophical, religious, and cultural effects of the Scientific Revolution on Early Modern society - effects that forever changed the Western view of the universe and humanity's place within it.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

4. Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

In this lesson, we discuss the two premier English political theorists of the 17th century: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. We'll also take a look at their impact on Western philosophy in contemporary and modern times.

The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas

5. The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas

In this lesson, we discuss the varied and diverse 18th-century intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment. In addition to exploring its background and nature, we highlight several of the era's chief philosophers and their ideas.

Enlightened Despots in France, Austria & Prussia: Reforms & Goals

6. Enlightened Despots in France, Austria & Prussia: Reforms & Goals

In this lesson we explore the term 'Enlightened Despotism' and how it pertains to the domestic politics of several 18th-century Western and Central European nations.

Enlightened Despots in Russia: Reforms & Goals

7. Enlightened Despots in Russia: Reforms & Goals

In this lesson, we explore the term enlightened despotism and the two rulers that most closely resemble enlightened despots in eighteenth-century Russia, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.

Reform in Great Britain in the 1700s: History & Impact

8. Reform in Great Britain in the 1700s: History & Impact

In this lesson we explore the political developments of eighteenth-century Britain, from the formation and union of Great Britain to the political reforms and ideologies of Edmund Burke and William Pitt the Younger.

Causes of the American Revolution: Events & Turning Points

9. Causes of the American Revolution: Events & Turning Points

In this lesson, we explore the causes and the initial battles of the American Revolution, from the end of the French and Indian War up until the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776.

Effects of the American Revolution: Summary & History

10. Effects of the American Revolution: Summary & History

In this lesson we explore the effects of the American Revolution, which were felt not just in Great Britain and North America, but across the Western world.

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