W CS 06

Age of Enlightenment (1600-1800)

The Age of Enlightenment developed from the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. A new focus on reasoning was used to understand social, political and economic institutions.

Content Statement

6. Enlightenment thinkers applied reason to discover natural laws guiding human nature in social, political and economic systems and institutions.

Content Elaborations

The Enlightenment movement began in Europe and inspired change across the world. Enlightenment thinkers believed in the influence of nature and in human progress. Some suggested that humans were naturally good and by freely exercising reason, would act for the common good. This required freedom from the restraints of the government and the church.

Enlightenment thinkers believed that natural laws guided social, political and economic systems and institutions. This concept shaped the role of education, the relationship between the government and people, and how goods and services were produced and distributed.

Expectations for Learning

Recognize that Enlightenment thinkers applied reason to discover natural laws guiding human nature in social, political and economic systems and institutions.