Today we will discuss:
 4.2 the age of reason 
4.3 absolutism and Enlightenment.
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Today we will discuss:
 4.2 the age of reason 
4.3 absolutism and Enlightenment.

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Lesson plan
Instruction 4.2 The age of Reason
Instruction 4.3 Enlightenment and absolutism.


Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

What is the white thing in the symbol for this age
An axe
The gallows
The guillotine
don't know

Slide 4 - Quizvraag

What dates belong to this Age?
the 18th century
the 1800s
1800 - 1900 AD
the 17th century

Slide 5 - Quizvraag

the Time of Wigs and Revolutions
1701 - 1800
Typical Aspects:

-the Enlightenment
-the American Revolution
-slavery and abolitionism
-the French Revolution

the 18th century

Slide 6 - Tekstslide

Learning objectives
Main question: Which new ideas developed during the Enlightenment?
  • You can explain that the Enlightenment was a new way of thinking.
  • You can name and explain three aspects of the Enlightenment.
  • You can explain what kind of criticism enlightened thinkers had on the estate-based society and the government in France.
  • You can explain the ideas of Locke, Rousseau and Montesquieu about the influence of citizens on government.
  • You can explain how rulers responded to the enlightened ideas.
  • You can explain how enlightened ideas spread.
  • You know the terms and dates of this section.

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Modern day context
People revolting against their goverment(s)

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The age of Reason
  1. In general the time between 1700 and 1800 can be seen as the time in which citizens take power from kings
  2. Lots of our modern ideas about rights/education/freedom are formed here

Slide 12 - Tekstslide

What impact did the age of Reason have on global societies?
Formation of modern ideas about rights and education
Increase in religious persecution
Expansion of empires through conquest
Decline in trade and commerce

Slide 13 - Quizvraag

So why does all this happen in this age
Several reasons, main ones:
  • absolutism --> kings got more powerful, this pissed people off
  • Absolutism 2 --> kings had made normal citizens more powerful instead of nobles, new group in society, rich educated citizens
  • Enlightenment --> new ideas about how the world should work.

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

What is one of the main reasons for the increase in power of kings during this age?
Industrial Revolution

Slide 15 - Quizvraag

The Enlightenment
  • The Enlightenment = De Verlichting
  • It was a new way of thinking that spread across Europe in the 18th century
  • It is also called "The Age of Reason"
  • It evolved from the Scientific Revolution
  • Bright thinkers believed that with the use of reason, they could solve all problems and rid the world of "dark ideas".
  • if they were succesful the world would be "enlightened".

Slide 16 - Tekstslide

Enlightened thinkers (philosophers) used reason to hopefully improve:

  • politics ( the divine right of kings? Does that make any sense?)
  • religion ( does God exist? Can this be proven by science?)
  • economy (what economic system can make everybody wealthy, not just a small group?)
  • social issues ( poverty, inequality, criminality. Can we solve these problems by using reason and science?)
Lots of different thinkers, lots of different ideas

Slide 17 - Tekstslide

  • In general the enlightenment stresses the importance of reasons
  • Everyone has a brain, everyone can think logically
  • The problem is that some people don't train and use it
  • The church and absolute rulers also make people lazy thinkers: "we will tell you what to think"
  • Most enligtened thinkers say that this has to stop.

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Slide 19 - Video

Slide 20 - Video

John Locke:

All people have natural rights that nobody can take away, not even a king.

Slide 21 - Tekstslide

What would you consider to be a
BASIC RIGHT for all humans?

Slide 22 - Woordweb


  • wrote more than two thousand books and pamphlets on all sorts of topics
  • was very critical towards the catholic church and the French king.
  • because of this he was put in prison and later exiled from France
  • his ideas were important in the French Revolution

Slide 23 - Tekstslide


  • He is famous for his theory of the Separation of Powers (Trias Politica):
  • The power of the state should never be in the hands of one person.
  • therefore power should be split up into three seperate parts, being:
  • the legislative (making laws), executive (carrying out the laws) and judicial (providing independent judgement) branch.
  • his ideas are still used in most constitutions all over the world.

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Adam Smith

  • Scottish economist. Wrote the book "Wealth of Nations"
  • Believed that the economy works best if there is Free Trade.
  • A government should not interfere in the economy.
  • He was against mercantilism.

Slide 26 - Tekstslide

Write down a question about something from this lesson that you don't understand.

Slide 27 - Open vraag


Slide 28 - Video

What were the three estates in 18th century France?
Clergy, nobility, 3rd estate (soldiers)
Soldiers, nobility, 3rd estate (citizens/workers/farmers)
Clergy, nobility, 3rd estate (citizens/workers/farmers)
Kings, church and the rest.

Slide 29 - Quizvraag

How do we call the government in France where the king has absolute power and where there are estates with their own privileges?
Ancien Régime
estate-based society
unitary state

Slide 30 - Quizvraag

What doesn't match the Second Estate?
Pay taxes
Own courts of justice and judges
Don't have to pay taxes
Help the king govern

Slide 31 - Quizvraag

Which estates had mostly rights and very few duties?
The farmers, citizens and nobility
The clergy and nobility
The clergy, the farmers and citizens
The citizens, clergy and nobility

Slide 32 - Quizvraag

"We do pay taxes, but have no say in government. That is unfair! "
To which group does this statement belong?
Wealthy citizens

Slide 33 - Quizvraag

How was it that the French treasury was almost empty?
War expenses
High debts and interest rates
Spending of the royal couple
All answers are correct

Slide 34 - Quizvraag

The Enlightenment
(De Verlichting)

Period (1650-1800) in which religion and tradition give way to logical and rational reasoning. Enlightened citizens were critical about the Church, government and society and wanted to improve them.

Slide 35 - Tekstslide

Confidence in science
  • The scientific revolution of the seventeenth century had led to new inventions and discoveries. 
  • Logical (rational) thinking and experimentation led to new knowledge.
  • People gained more confidence in the human mind ('ratio'). 
  • Would lead to more and more knowledge and logical explanations.
  • More knowledge would 'enlighten' mankind.

Slide 36 - Tekstslide

Confidence in science
  • The Enlightenment led to new ideas about God.
  • Enlightened thinkers believed that God had created the earth and man, but that he no longer interfered with his creation.
  • The world worked according to natural laws (for example Newton's law of universal gravitation).
  • There were logical explanations for disasters (wasn't God's punishment).
  • By using logical thinking instead of accepting everything the Church or government said, people could overcome superstition (be 'enlightened').

Slide 37 - Tekstslide

A new society
  • The Enlightenment caused people to think differently about society. Society could be improved by using the mind ('social engineering'). 
  • Education important to improve society.
  • Important aspects:
  1. Religious
  2. Social
  3. Political
  4. Economic (not required)

Slide 38 - Tekstslide

A new society
  • Church criticism (persecutions and ban on other religions). Religious truth couldn't be proven by means of scientific evidence. 
  • Religious tolerance = No punishments for believing something different. Acceptance with regard to other religions.
  • Separation of Church and state = The Church shouldn't interfere with government and the state couldn't interfere in religious matters. 

Slide 39 - Tekstslide

A new society
  • Criticism of inequality of the (estate-based) society. All were born with natural rights. Rights everybody has from birth. Nobody is allowed to violate the rights of others, such as the right to freedom, health and property.
  • Freedom, for example the freedom of speech, press freedom, freedom of religion or freedom of trade.
  • Equality, for example equality before law, gender equality, equality for slave and non-slave or even abolition of slavery. 

Slide 40 - Tekstslide

A new society
Criticism of absolutism. Led to abuse of power and was based on religion.

John Locke
  • King was given power by the people.
  • Duty of the king: protect the rights of the people.
  • If the king didn't perform well, the people were
      allowed to rebel.

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A new society
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • People shouldn't give power to the king.
  • Power should always lie with people (democracy).
  • Against absolutism.

Charles de Montesquieu
Separation of powers ('Trias Politica'): 
Power had to be divided into three parts (legislative, executive and

Slide 42 - Tekstslide

A new society
Legislative power
  • Parliament (representative assembly)
  • Make rules and laws

Executive power
  • King and ministers (government)
  • Carry out rules and laws

Judicial power 
  • Judges
  • Issue punishments when people don't comply with rules and laws.

Slide 43 - Tekstslide

The rulers' responses
Absolute monarchs and churches weren't happy with enlightend ideas.
  • Banned books that criticised the government or the Church. 
       Censorship = government's ban on the disclosure of, for example, texts, 
       plays and pieces of music.
  • Enlightened thinkers were banished or imprisoned.

Yet kings and the Church couldn't stop the spread of enlightened ideas.

Slide 44 - Tekstslide

The rulers' responses
  • Enlightened ideas were popular among the bourgeoisie.
  • Met in coffee houses and salons to read and discuss.
  • Ideas spread through magazines and newspapers.
  • This is how a public opinion emerged.

Slide 45 - Tekstslide

Which sentence or sentences are correct?
1 Enlightened thinkers felt that people should decide themselves what to believe.
2 They were against religious tolerance.
3 They believed there was a logical explanation for everything.
4 Before the Enlightenment, almost everyone believed that God no longer intervened in life.
Sentences 1 and 3
Sentence 4
Sentences 1, 3 and 4
Sentences 2 and 3

Slide 46 - Quizvraag

Which enlightened thinker developed the 'Trias Politica'?
John Locke
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Charles de Montesquieu
Baruch Spinoza

Slide 47 - Quizvraag

Why is Trias Politica important?
It prevents abuse of power.
More people are involved in government.
The king receives help in the administration.
It leads to more equality.

Slide 48 - Quizvraag

Which sentences match enlightened thinkers?
1. If a ruler doesn't perform well, the ruler can be replaced by the people.
2. The power of the government should be divided among the government, parliament and judges.
3. A king doesn't have to answer for his actions to anyone.
4. The Church should have a say in government.
1 and 2
1 and 3
2 and 3
2 and 4

Slide 49 - Quizvraag

Which sentences match the Ancien Régime?
1. Every state should have a constitution which sets out the citizens right's and duties and government's organisation .
2. Rulers received their power from God.
3. Kings and ministers were given their power by the people.
4. The king is the law.
1 and 2
1 and 3
2 and 3
2 and 4

Slide 50 - Quizvraag

Your tasks
Tomorrow 4.5 slavery will be discussed. Then all exercises up until 4.3 need to be finished. (=homework check)

Next week 
Tuesday: finish chapter 4
Wednesday: formative test 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.5

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