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SS Ch. 5 Vocab


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Baron de Montesquieu
(1689-1755) French jurist and political philosopher; he explored democratic theories of government. He proposed a government divided into three branches and greatly influenced the United States Constitution.
Social Contract
an agreement between a people and their government, stating that people would give up some of their freedom and in return, their government would provide them with peace, security, and order
gatherings in which intellectual and political ideas were exchanged during the Enlightenment
He believed even the accused had rights and that there should be no torture
Scientific Revolution
a transformation in European thought in the 1500s and 1600s that called for scientific observation, experimentation, and the questioning of traditional opinions
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
(1712-1778) Swiss-French political philosopher; he valued the social contract and addressed the nature of man in his work On the Origin of Inequality.
Scientific Method
a method of inquiry that promotes observing, measuring, explaining, and verifying as a way to gain scientific knowledge
Heliocentric Theory
scientific theory that has the sun as the center of the universe with the earth rotating around the sun
philosophers of the Enlightenment
(1694-1778) French philosopher and author; he was a supporter of Deism, the idea that God was no longer involved with the universe after creating it. He also advocated a tolerant approach to religion.
Geocentric Theory
scientific theory that has the earth as the center of the universe with the sun and stars revolving around it
John Locke
(1632-1704) English philosopher and founder of British empiricism; he developed political and economic theories during the Enlightenment. He wrote Two Treatises on Government in which he declared that people have a right to rebel against governments that do not protect their rights.
Nicolaus Copernicus
(1473-1543) Polish astronomer; he proposed the heliocentric, or sun-centered, theory of the universe.
Enlightened Despots
the absolute monarchs in 18th-century Europe who ruled according to the principles of the Enlightenment
a time of optimism and possibility from the late 1600s to the late 1700s; also called the Age of Reason
Rene Descartes
(1596-1650) French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist; his belief that all things should be doubted until they could be proved by reason became one of the underpinnings of the scientific method
Isaac Newton
(1642-1727) English mathematician and natural philosopher; he discovered the law of gravity as well as laws on the physics of objects.
Galileo Galilei
(1564-1642) Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist; he discovered the law of motion of falling objects and invented the first working telescope; his discoveries put him into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church.

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