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Big Era Six: Closeup Unit 6.6.2

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Was the Enlightenment for Everyone?
1700 1800 CE

Why This Unit?

This unit examines the effects of the Enlightenment and the tensions that emerged between a philosophical and ideological movement and the traditional system of power in Europe. This intellectual movement in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used reason to examine human nature. The Enlightenment is credited with changing the way Europeans thought about government, politics, property, liberty, and freedom. Intellectuals, influenced by the Scientific Revolution, wanted to apply reason to examine the way society functioned. The exchange and diffusion of ideas led to changes in the structure of society and government. This bourgeois-led movement was intended by those involved to apply to a certain class, but the ideas also took hold among the masses. Under the leadership of bourgeois thinkers, the Enlightenment influenced the revolutionary ideas of the eighteenth century. These concepts also lay the groundwork for understanding later historical events such as the writing of liberal democratic constitutions.

 

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Describe how democratic thought and institutions were influenced by Enlightenment thinkers

2. Analyze the diffusion of Enlightenment ideals and their influence globally.

3. Formulate a hypothesis about whether it was an "Enlightenment for everyone" and support their hypothesis using evidence from primary source documents.

 

Time and Materials

This unit is designed to be completed within 3-5 days of 55-minute classes.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

2

Unit objectives

2

Time and materials

2

Author

2

The historical context

2

This unit in the Big Era timeline

4

Lesson 1: Enlightenment and Government

5

Lesson 2: Was the Enlightenment for Everyone?

10

This unit and the Three Essential Questions

23

This unit and the Seven Key Themes

23

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

23

Resources

24

Correlations to National and State Standards

25

Conceptual links to other lessons

25

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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