1. The thinkers of the Scientific Revolution transformed the way that questions about the physical world are answered, from reference to religious tradition and authority to direct, systematic observation analyzed logically.
I can contrast the approach to understanding the universe that characterized the “Age of Faith” with that of the “Age of Reason.”
I can explain how the geocentric model of the universe came to be replaced by one which placed the sun at the center.
I can explain how deductive reasoning came to be replaced by inductive reasoning in pursuit of universal laws.
2. The thinkers of the Enlightenment transformed the way that questions about human behavior are answered, from reference to religious tradition and authority to direct, systematic observation, analyzed logically; the result was a growing sense that governments should be more responsive to the needs and interests of their people.
I can compare and contrast the political views of Enlightenment thinkers.
I can assess to what extent the Enlightenment influenced how absolute monarchs managed their kingdoms.
I can explain the foundation of capitalist philosophy as articulated by Adam Smith.
3. The Age of Reason produced a range of belief systems that diverged from the traditional beliefs of the Age of Faith.
I can compare and contrast the epistemological and ethical views of scientific thinkers, deists, and rationalists during the Age of Reason.
The “Age of Reason” saw the rise of two separate but linked historical movements: the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Emerging from an “Age of Faith,” in which all questions about the nature of the universe were referred to religious authorities (who in some cases deferred to ancient writers like Aristotle), the thinkers of this era proposed that equally good, if not better, answers to these questions could be arrived at through direct, systematic observation and the application of mathematics and logic to those observations.
Nicolas Copernicus noted that the movements of the planets suggested that the traditional geocentric model of the universe was wrong – that it made more sense to place the sun at its center. This suggestion was confirmed by Galileo Galilei’s direct observation. These challenged the doctrines of the Church, which tried to suppress them. In the meantime, Galileo had established a universal law of acceleration for falling objects. He had arrived at this law inductively – via observation. Traditional thinking was deductive; it began with established principles that were applied to specific instances. Isaac Newton synthesized these concepts to produce the universal law of gravitation, explaining how the attraction among all objects explains much of how the universe works.
Enlightenment thinkers applied the same new tools of observation and logic to answer questions about human behavior. They challenged the traditional justification of absolute monarchy by divine right and suggested instead a social contract in which government existed to protect its subjects – and in particular their natural rights. Some asserted that a government that failed in this mission ought to be overthrown, while others worked to design a government that would not be able to violate its subjects’ rights. Emerging economic thought advocated economic freedom.
Some monarchs took notice of these ideas and granted greater freedoms to their subjects; in other cases, Enlightenment ideas helped inspire revolutions.
The Age of Reason further undermined the authority of the Church, and some individuals influenced by its ideas rejected organized religious institutions altogether. This led to new approaches to understanding truth, especially ethical truth.
geocentric model of the universe Nicolaus Copernicus
deductive reasoning On the Revolution of the
Scientific Method Heavenly Orbs
systematic observation Galileo Galilei
(under controlled circumstances) The Starry Messenger
inductive reasoning Johannes Kepler
heliocentric model of the universe Sir Isaac Newton
elliptical orbits Thomas Paine
Galileo’s universal law of the Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
acceleration of falling objects Baruch di Spinoza
Newton’s universal law of Julien de la Mettrie
gravitation Denis Diderot
philosophes Rene Descartes
salons John Locke
Deism Essay Concerning Human
Epistemology David Hume
direct experience Immanuel Kant
inductive reasoning Groundwork on the
“a priori” knowledge Metaphysics of Morals
deductive reasoning Thomas Hobbes
categorical imperative John Locke
“state of nature” Second Treatise of Government
natural rights Thomas Jefferson
life, liberty, property Declaration of Independence
limited government Jean-Jacques Rousseau
social contract The Social Contract
separation of powers Baron de Montesquieu
checks and balances The Spirit of the Laws
enlightened monarch/despot James Madison
abolition of serfdom Immanuel Kant
patronage of arts and sciences “What is Enlightenment?”
Pugachev’s Rebellion Frederick II “the Great”
“Invisible Hand”/”Hidden Hand” Joseph II
market economy Catherine the Great
Aristotle Adam Smith
Ptolemy The Wealth of Nations
assess to what extent
compare and contrast
Palmer, R. R., Colton, Joel, and Kramer, Lloyd, A History of the Modern World Tenth Edition
Caldwell, Amy, Beeler, John, and Clark, Charles, ed., Sources of Western Society
Davies, Norman, Europe: A History
Davison, Michael Worth, ed., Everyday Life Through the Ages
Fordham University, The Internet Modern History Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook.asp
Lualdi, Katharine, ed., Sources of The Making of the West
Sherman, Dennis, Western Civilization: Sources, Images, and Interpretations
Tierney, Brian, Kagan, Donald, and Williams, L. Pearce, eds., Great Issues in Western Civilization
Bacon, Francis, Novum Organum
Boorstin, Daniel J., The Seekers
Burke, James, The Day the Universe Changed
Copernicus, Nicolaus, Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs
Descartes, Rene, Meditations
Diderot, Denis, Encyclopedia
Durant, William, The Age of Reason
Galileo, The Starry Messenger
Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan
Kant, Immanuel, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
Kepler, Johann, Laws of Planetary Motion
Locke, John, Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Locke, John, Two Treatises of Government
Montesqiueu, Baron, Spirit of the Laws
Newton, Sir Isaac, Principia
Paine, Thomas, The Age of Reason
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, The Social Contract
Due to the nature of the AP European History curriculum, it is difficult to envision an approach to enrichment. The course is taught with the expectation that its content and standards for performance are equivalent to those of a first-year college survey course, and students who choose to enroll in this course do so in anticipation that the course, in and of itself, is an enrichment of their education in history. Students may choose to read the complete versions of texts referenced during the course, with the encouragement and support of the instructor.