About This Chapter
The Enlightenment Era - Chapter Summary
This teacher resource chapter can help you teach your students about the Enlightenment Era. We've included lessons on ideas and key thinkers of the Enlightenment period, the roots of this era and the influence it had on democratic thought. You can show an entire video lesson in class or use the timeline to skip straight to specific topics within the video.
How It Helps
- Eases planning: Take the stress out of developing curriculum when you use these resources, which are written by professional instructors who know how to present these topics to students in an interesting way.
- Teaches key topics: From Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes to democratic thought and enlightened despots, these lessons ensure you're teaching your students accurate and thorough information about important Enlightenment Era topics.
- Assesses student progress: The lesson quizzes and chapter test in this chapter provide handy ways to assess your students' comprehension level.
Your students should be able to do the following when you teach them using this chapter:
- Describe the roots of the Enlightenment
- Discuss the enlightened despots in Europe
- Identify prominent Enlightenment thinkers and their ideas
- Detail the competing views of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes
- Explain the union of philosophy and religion under Rene Descartes
- Explore the Enlightenment's influence on democratic thought
1. Major Themes of the Enlightenment: Reason, Individualism & Skepticism
In this lesson, we will identify the major themes associated with the Enlightenment. We will also explore the major figures and learn about their contributions. We will understand the lasting impact of the Enlightenment by putting it in historical context.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Rene Descartes and the Union of Religion and Philosophy
This lesson explores the beliefs and works of Rene Descartes and how he explained the relationship between the mind and body as well as religion and science.
5. Influence of the Enlightenment on Democratic Thought
In this lesson, we will learn about the impact the Enlightenment has had upon democracy. We will see how the Enlightenment helped shape modern democratic thinking.
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Other chapters within the Middle School Social Studies Teacher Resources course
- Early Hominin Evolution
- Ancient Sumerian Cities & Culture
- Ancient Mesopotamian Empires
- Ancient Egyptian Culture & Structures
- Life in Ancient India
- Life in Ancient China
- Ancient Greece Culture & Politics
- Ancient Roman Empire
- World Religions & Beliefs
- European Life in the Middle Ages
- The Empires of Rome
- Religion & Culture of Islam
- The Christian Crusades
- Early West African Culture & Development
- Imperial China Overview
- Life in Medieval Japan
- The Maya, Aztec & Inca Peoples
- European Renaissance Overview
- The European Protestant Reformation
- Exploration of the New World
- Origins of Modern Science
- European Exploration of the Americas
- The First Colonies in America
- The American Revolution Causes & Consequences
- Early American Government Origins & Documents
- Origins of the American Republic
- The Jefferson Presidency in America
- The Jackson Presidency in America
- American Expansion of the 1800s
- American Reform Movements in the 1800s
- Origins of the American Civil War
- Overview of the United States Civil War
- The Civil War Reconstruction Era
- The Second Industrial Revolution in the USA
- American Imperialism & The Progressive Era
- The United States & WWI
- American Life in the 1920s
- The Great Depression, New Deal & The USA
- The United States & WWII
- America During the Cold War
- USA Presidents & Movements of the 1960s & 1970s
- Contemporary American Movements & Presidents