Teacher's Notes

It is expected that students first read through the overview page. After that, students should navigate through the five political thinkers in order to discover their theories and apply them to the development of democratic traditions as presented in the overview. A suggested unit plan with activities can be found on the unit plan page.

These pages are intended to enrich those parts of the curriculum which deal with the Enlightenment, Age of Revolutions, Constitutionalism, and the Rise of Democratic Traditions. The site consists of an overview page which discusses the changes from Absolutism to Constitutionalism. The majority of the pages are concerned with five philosophies or early political scientists. Four of the five political theorists are from the age known as the Enlightenment. Their ideas had a direct impact on the revolutionaries who wrote the documents of freedom and liberal constitutions in the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. John Stuart Mill's ideas about censorship and public good have helped the courts refine its interpretation of the constitution. The importance of Mary Wolstonecraft's writings has been particularly influential in the women's movement during the twentieth century. It is necessary to give students a background on Absolutism before beginning the unit. Please consult the unit plan notes.

7.11 Students analyze political and economic change in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason).

7.11.5. Describe how democratic thought and institutions were influenced by Enlightenment thinkers (e.g., John Lock, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, American founders).

  • 8.1 Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.

    8.12. Analyze the philosophy of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence, with an emphasis on government as a means of securing individual rights (e.g., key phrases such as "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights").

  • 10.2 Students compare and contrast the Glorious Revolution of England, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution and their enduring effects worldwide on the political expectations for self-government and individual liberty.

    10.21.Compare the major ideas of philosophers and their effects on the democratic revolutions in England, the United States, France, and Latin America (e.g., John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Simon Bolivar, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison).

  • 11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.

    11.1.1Describe the Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas as the context in which the nation was founded.

    12.1 Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.

    12.1.1 Analyze the influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English, and leading European political thinkers such as John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and William Blackstone on the development of American government.

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    Rise of Democratic Ideas Vocabulary

    abusive

    advocated

    assemblies

    affect

    authority

    balance

    basic

    basis

    benevolence

    bully

    censorship

    consent

    contract

    corrupt

    criticize

    democratic

    doctrines

    economist

    elite

    endowed

    enforce

    Enlightenment

    ethically

    formal

    focus

    inalienable

    influential

    intellectual

    interference

    interpret

    issue

    justice

    justify

    liberty

    literary

    maintain

    morality

    nauseatingly

    opposition

    particularly

    petition

    philosophy

    preserve

    principle

    produce

    promote

    proponent

    pursuit

    rebel

    reflect

    representation

    responsibilities

    rights

    separate

    standard

    suffrage

    suppressive

    system

    theory

    tyranny

    utility

    will

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    Links

    www.lucidcafe.com Selected Biographies Archive
    www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jun/rousseau.html Rousseau
    http://www.knuten.liu.se/~bjoch509/philosophers/philosophers.html Locke, Rousseau, Mill
    www.chateauversailles.fr virtual tour
    www.utm.edu/research/iep/ Modern Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    www.wsu.edu/~dee/ENLIGHT/ENLIGHT.HTM Rousseau, Enlightenment
    http://www.epistemelinks.com/ Philosophy Resources

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    John Locke
    Mary Wolstonecraft
    Montesquieu
    Jean Jacques Rousseau
    John Stuart Mill

    Overview Unit Plan Vocabulary Page