Chapter 9 : Scientific Revolution
During the 1500s and 1600s many European thinkers began
relying on their own reasoning rather than on traditional beliefs.
They developed the scientific method, establishing facts through
observation and experimentation. This development, and the
development of new instruments, resulted in an explosion of
knowledge known as the scientific revolution. The universe was
now thought to work according to definite laws, which
encouraged people to believe that they could discover the natural
laws governing human behavior. Understanding those laws could
improve society. The philosopher John Locke concluded that
government's authority rested on popular consent and that the
people had a right to overthrow an unjust government. The 1700s
were known as the Age of Enlightenment, when it was believed
that the light of reason would free all people from the darkness of
ignorance and superstition.
Chapter 9: The Enlightenment
Section 1: New Scientific Ideas
Section 2: Impact of Science
Section 3: Triumph of Reason
Section 4: Birth of the American Republic
Some random terms
• Scientific Revolution--Time period in Europe from
1500-1700 in which many advances in technology
and science were made
• Scientific Method--The process used to answer a
question by proposing a hypothesis, conducting an
experiment, and concluding results
• Deism--A belief in God only based on factual
evidence and the nature of reason
Progress and Reason
Scientific progress convinced Europeans of the power of human
If people used reason to find laws that governed the physical
world, why not use reason to discover natural laws, or laws
that governed human nature?
Thus, the Scientific Revolution led to another revolution in
thinking, which came to be known as the Enlightenment.
Through the use of reason, people and governments could
solve social, political, and economic problems.
• Pol. Mikotaj Kopérnik, 1473–1543, Polish astronomer.
After studying astronomy at the Univ. of Kraków, he
spent a number of years in Italy studying various
subjects, including medicine and canon law. He
lectured c.1500 in Rome on mathematics and
astronomy; in 1512 he settled in Frauenburg, East
Prussia, where he had been nominated canon of the
cathedral. There he performed his canonical
duties, practiced medicine, was a legal officer, and
wrote a pioneering treatise on currency reform. But
the work that immortalized him is De revolutionibus
orbium coelestium, in which he set forth his beliefs
concerning the universe, known as the Copernican
• The Copernican system, the first modern European theory of planetary motion
that was heliocentric, i.e., that placed the sun motionless at the center of the
solar system with all the planets, including the earth, revolving around it.
• That treatise, which was dedicated to Pope Paul III, was probably completed by
1530 but was not published until 1543, when Copernicus was on his deathbed.
Modern astronomy was built upon the foundation of the Copernican system.
• Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (de
Knudstrup) (14 December 1546 – 24 October
1601), was a Danish nobleman known for his
accurate and comprehensive astronomical
and planetary observations. Coming from
Scania, then part of Denmark, now part of
modern-day Sweden, Tycho was well known
in his lifetime as an astronomer and
• As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical
benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the
Ptolemaic system into his own model of the universe, the Tychonic system.
• Tycho is credited with the most accurate astronomical observations of his
time, and the data was used by his assistant Kepler to derive the laws of
planetary motion. No one before Tycho had attempted to make so many
• While a student, Tycho lost part of his nose in a duel
with a fellow Danish nobleman. This occurred in the
Christmas season of 1566, after a fair amount of
drinking, while Tycho, just turned 20 years old, was
studying at the University of Rostock in Germany.
Attending a dance at a professor's house, he
quarreled over a heated game of paisley ale. A
subsequent duel (in the dark) resulted in Tycho
losing the bridge of his nose. From this event Tycho
became interested in medicine and alchemy.
• For the rest of his life, he was said to have worn a
realistic replacement made of silver and gold, using
a paste to keep it attached. Some people believed
that it was made of copper.
• He also had a tame moose (elk) that got drunk, fell
down the stairs, and died.
• Tycho's observations of stellar and planetary
positions were noteworthy both for their accuracy
and quantity, but he would not adopt the
heliocentric model of the universe.
• Johannes Kepler --December 27, 1571 – November
15, 1630) was a German
mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key
figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. He is
best known for his eponymous laws of planetary
motion, codified by later astronomers based on his
works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and
Epitome of Copernican Astrononomy. They also
provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's
theory of universal gravitation.
• He was an apprentice to Tycho Brahe for several
years, but left because Tycho would not share well.
Galileo Galilei •
Galileo was a practicing Catholic,
yet his writings on Copernican
Galileo Galilei of Pisa was a Tuscan • heliocentrism disturbed some
astronomer, philosopher, and physicist who is • in the Catholic Church who
closely associated with the scientific revolution.
His achievements include improving the • believed in a geocentric model
telescope, a variety of astronomical • of the solar system. They argued that
observations, the first law of motion, and heliocentrism was in direct contradiction of the
supporting Copernicanism effectively. He has been Bible, at least as interpreted by the church
referred to as the "father of modern astronomy" fathers, and the highly revered ancient writings of
as the "father of modern physics," and as "father Aristotle and Plato (especially among the
of science." His experimental work is widely Dominican order, facilitators of the Inquisition).
considered complementary to the writings of • In 1633, the Inquisition held the final hearing on
Francis Bacon in establishing the modern scientific Galileo’s supposed heresies –heliocentric universe-
method. Galileo's career coincided with that of -, he was then 69 years old and pleaded for
Johannes Kepler. The work of Galileo is considered mercy, pointing to his "regrettable state of physical
to be a significant break from that of Aristotle. In unwellness“. Threatening him with
addition, his conflict with the Roman Catholic torture, imprisonment, and death on the
Church is taken as a major early example of the stake, the trial forced Galileo to "abjure, curse
conflict of authority and freedom of and detest" his work and to promise to denounce
thought, particularly with science, in Western others who held his prior viewpoint. Galileo did
society. everything the church requested him to
do, which was to publish a recantation of his
In 1992, 359 years after the Galileo theories. He was convicted and sentenced to life
imprisonment, but kept under house arrest.
trial, Pope John Paul II issued an
apology, lifting the edict of Inquisition
• Francis Bacon was an English
philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, and author. He served both
as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political
career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his
works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific
revolution. Indeed, his dedication may have brought him into a rare
historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.
• His works established and popularized an inductive methodology for
scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific
method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things
natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for
science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology
• He wrote magnificent (and short!) essays like “Of Studies” and debated
things like how many angels could stand on the head of a pin while in
coffeehouses with his pals.
“Of Studies” by Francis
• “STUDIES serve for delight, for
ornament, and for ability. Their chief use
for delight, is in privateness and retiring;
for ornament, is in discourse; and for
ability, is in the judgment, and disposition
• “Some books are to be tasted, others to
be swallowed, and some few to be
chewed and digested; that is, some books
are to be read only in parts; others to be
read, but not curiously; and some few to
be read wholly, and with diligence and
Sir Isaac Newton
• Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727]
was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer,
natural philosopher alchemist, and theologian who is
perceived and considered by a substantial number of
scholars and the general public as one of the most
influential men in history. His 1687 publication of the
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (usually
called the Principia)is considered to be among the
most influential books in the history of science, laying
the groundwork for most of classical mechanics. In this
work, Newton described universal gravitation and the
three laws of motion which dominated the scientific
view of the physical universe for the next three
centuries. Newton showed that the motions of objects
on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the
same set of natural laws by demonstrating the
consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary
motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing
the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the
“If I have seen further it is by
standing on the shoulders of
• In mathematics, Newton shares the credit
for the development of the differential and
integral calculus. He also demonstrated the
generalized binomial theorem, developed
the so-called "Newton's method" for • From 1670 to 1672, Newton lectured on
approximating the zeroes of a optics. During this period he
function, and contributed to the study of investigated the refraction of
power series. light, demonstrating that a prism could
• Newton remains influential to scientists, as decompose white light into a spectrum
demonstrated by a 2005 survey of of colors, and that a lens and a second
scientists and the general public in Britain's prism could recompose the
Royal Society asking who had the greater multicolored spectrum into white light.
effect on the history of science, Newton or From this work he concluded that the
Albert Einstein. Newton was deemed to lens of any refracting telescope would
have made the greater overall contribution suffer from the dispersion of light into
to science. colors (chromatic aberration), and as a
proof of the concept he constructed a
telescope using a mirror as the
objective to bypass that problem.
Actually building the design, the first
known functional reflecting
telescope, today known as a Newtonian
• Rene Descartes was a French
philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and writer who
spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He
has been dubbed the "Father of Modern
Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western
philosophy is a response to his writings, which
continue to be studied closely to this day. In
“Cogito particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy
continues to be a standard text at most university
ergo sum.” philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in
mathematics is also apparent, the Cartesian coordinate
system allowing geometric shapes to be expressed in
algebraic equations being named for him. He is
credited as the father of analytical geometry.
Descartes was also one of the key figures in the
• He also invented the notation which uses superscripts
to show the powers or exponents, for example the 2
used in x2 to indicate squaring.
• “I think, therefore, I am”=“Cogito ergo sum.”
• William Harvey was an English
physician who was the first to
describe correctly and in exact
detail the systemic circulation
and properties of blood being
pumped around the body by
He looked at cork
• Robert Hooke, was an English
natural philosopher, architect and
polymath who played an
important role in the scientific
revolution, through both
experimental and theoretical
• Hooke is known principally for his
law of elasticity (Hooke's Law) and
for his work as "the father of
microscopy" — it was Hooke who
coined the term "cell" to describe
the basic unit of life.
• Irish chemist who established
that air has weight and whose
chemical elements and
reactions helped to dissociate
chemistry from alchemy;
discovered Boyle's Law-
volume and pressure are
inversely proportional to one
another at the same
temperature. Among his
works, The Sceptical Chymist
is seen as a cornerstone book
in the field of chemistry.
• Joseph Priestley was an 18th-
philosopher, educator, and
political theorist who
published over 150 works. He
is usually credited as the
English chemist who isolated
gases and discovered
oxygen, although and Antoine
Lavoisier also have a claim to
the discovery. He consistently
tried to fuse Enlightenment
rationalism with Christian Joseph Priestley
Antoine and Marie
• French chemist and his wife
who named elements and
discovered the law of the
conservation of mass. A
pioneer of stoichiometry--the
calculation of quantitative
(measurable) relationships of His wife took notes and drew lovely
the reactants and products in a graphs/sketches of their experiments
balanced chemical reaction
(chemicals). It can be used to
calculate quantities such as the
amount of products that can be
produced with the given
reactants and percent yield.
Political Thinkers of the Enlightenment
THOMAS JOHN BARON de
HOBBES LOCKE MONTESQUIEU
People are naturally People are basically The separation of
cruel, greedy, and selfish. reasonable and moral. powers is the best
way to protect liberty.
People entered into a People have certain
social contract, in order natural rights. Each branch of
to live in an organized government should
A government has a duty serve as a check on
society. to the people it governs. the others.
Only an absolute If a government fails, the
monarchy can ensure an people have the right to
orderly society. overthrow it.
• François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 –
May 30, 1778), better known by the pen name
Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment
writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit
and his defense of civil liberties, including both
freedom of religion and free trade.
• Voltaire was a prolific satirical writer and produced
works in almost every literary form including
plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific
works, more than 20,000 letters and more than
2,000 books and pamphlets.
• Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its
erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. A
picaresque novel that parodies many adventure and
romance clichés, the struggles of which are
caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-
fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on Voltaire is known to have used
historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War. at least 178 separate pen
names during his lifetime of
• “All is for the best in the best of all
New Economic Thinking
Thinkers called physiocrats focused on economic reforms. Like the
philosophes, physiocrats looked for natural laws to define a rational
Physiocrats rejected mercantilism in favor of a policy called laissez
faire. Laissez faire means allowing businesses to run with little or no
In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith argued that the free market
should be allowed to regulate business activity. Smith supported
laissez faire, but also believed that a government had a duty to
protect society, administer justice, and provide public works.
Enlightenment Ideas Spread
• What roles did censorship and salons
play in the spread of new ideas?
• How did philosophes influence
• How did the Enlightenment affect
arts and literature?
• Why were the lives of the majority
The Roles of Censorship and Salons
Government and church officials tried to protect the
old order. To defend against the attacks of the
Enlightenment, they used censorship, the restricting
of access to ideas and information. They banned and
burned books and imprisoned writers.
Salons were informal social gatherings where
writers, artists, philosophes, and others exchanged
• Diderot is best remembered as the general editor of the
Encyclopédie (Encyclopedia) and as one of its main
contributors. The project absorbed most of his energies
from 1750 to 1772.
• Conceived initially as a translation of the Chambers
Cyclopaedia, the Encyclopedia developed into an overview
of world knowledge and was intended to illustrate its
inherent harmony and order. In Diderot's hands the work
became an organ of radical and anti-reactionary
propaganda; hence publication was from time to time
impeded by the French authorities—government & Church
• Diderot was a polymath very familiar with the scientific trends of his
• Diderot thought man was generally susceptible to modification by
environmental influences. He ascribed most of the evil he saw around
him to the baleful influence of European (especially French) society.
• He hangs out with Madame de Pompadour in her Salons.
The Philosophes and Society
Thinkers called philosophes believed that the use of reason
could lead to reforms of government, law, and society.
VOLTAIRE ROUSSEAU WOLLSTONECRAFT
Defended the principle of Believed that people were
basically good. Argued that a woman should
freedom of speech.
be able to decide what is in
Argued that government her own interest and should
Used wit to expose abuses
controls should be minimal and not be completely
should only be imposed by a dependent on her husband.
Opposed the slave trade and freely elected government.
Called for equal education
religious prejudice. Felt the good of the community for girls and boys.
should be placed above
Literature and the Arts
In the 1600s and 1700s, the arts evolved to meet changing tastes.
Literature developed new forms and a
Artists and designers developed
wide new audience.
the Rococo style, which was
personal, elegant, and charming. Middle class readers enjoyed stories
about their own times.
Great numbers of novels were written.
New kinds of musical entertainment evolved, such as ballets and
Music followed ordered, structured forms.
Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, and Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart were brilliant and influential composers of this
Enlightened despots were absolute rulers who used their power to
bring about political and social change.
FREDERICK THE CATHERINE THE JOSEPH II
GREAT of Prussia GREAT of Russia of Austria
Exerted tight control over Was interested in Most radical of enlightened
subjects, but saw himself Enlightenment ideas but despots.
as a “servant of the state.” intended to give up no power. Granted toleration to
Made some limited reforms in Protestants and Jews.
Tolerated religious law and government. Ended censorship and tried
differences. Granted nobles a charter of
to control the Catholic
Distributed seeds and Sold church property to
tools to peasants. Criticized the institution of build hospitals.
Some more random terms
• Pacifism--the doctrine that all violence is
unjustifiable like the Quakers, the Amish…
• Classicism--The principles or styles characteristic of
the literature and art of ancient Greece and Rome
• Romanticism--a movement in literature and art
during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that
celebrated nature rather than civilization
• Metaphysics-- the principles of philosophy as
applied to explain the methods of any particular
• John Wesley (28 June 1703 – 2 March 1791)
was an Anglican cleric and Christian
• Wesley is largely credited, along with his
brother Charles Wesley, with founding the
Methodist movement which began when he
took to open-air preaching in a similar
manner to George Whitefield.
• In contrast to George Whitefield's Calvinism .
Methodism was a highly successful
evangelical movement in the United
Kingdom, which encouraged people to
experience Christ personally.
• It also was against slavery.
• He wrote some really neat hymns, too.
• Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century
German philosopher from the Prussian
city of Königsberg, Russia). Kant was the
last influential philosopher of modern
Europe in the classic sequence of the
theory of knowledge during the
Enlightenment beginning with thinkers
John Locke, David Hume, etc.
• Kant created a new widespread perspective in philosophy which influenced philosophy
through to the 21st Century. He published important works on epistemology, as well as works
relevant to religion, law, and history. One of his most prominent works is the Critique of Pure
Reason, an investigation into the limitations and structure of reason itself. It encompasses an
attack on traditional metaphysics and epistemology, and highlights Kant's own contribution
to these areas. The other main works of his maturity are the Critique of Practical
Reason, which concentrates on ethics, and the Critique of Judgment, which investigates
aesthetics and teleology.
• Kant is best known for his transcendental idealist philosophy that time and space are
not materially real but merely the ideal a priori condition of our internal intuition.
Also, he made an important astronomical discovery, namely the discovery of the
retardation of the rotation of the Earth, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in
1754. Even more importantly, from this Kant concluded that time is not a thing in
itself determined from experience, objects, motion, and change, but rather an
unavoidable framework of the human mind that preconditions possible experience.
• “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his
• He argues that the immaturity is self-inflicted
not from a lack of understanding, but from the
lack of courage to use one’s
reason, intellect, and wisdom without the
guidance of another.
• Our fear of thinking for ourselves.
• He exclaims that the motto of enlightenment
is “Sapere aude”! – Dare to be wise!
The Lives of Peasants
Peasant life varied across Europe. Peasant culture, based
on centuries-old traditions, changed slowly.
In Western Europe, serfdom had largely disappeared.
Peasants worked their own plots of land, were tenants of
large landowners, or worked as day laborers.
In central and Eastern Europe, serfdom remained firmly
rooted. Peasants owed labor services to their lords and
could be bought and sold with the land.
Why Did Britain Rise to Global Power in the 1700s?
Location placed England in a position to control
trade during the Renaissance.
In the 1700s, Britain was usually on the winning
side in European conflicts.
England had developed a powerful navy, which
could protect its growing empire and trade.
England offered a more favorable climate to
business and commerce than did its European
The union of England and Scotland brought
economic advantages to both lands.
Growth of Constitutional
In the century following the Glorious Revolution, three
new political institutions arose in Britain:
1. Political parties emerged in England in the late 1600s. The first political
parties, the Tories and the Whigs, represented small exclusive groups of
2. The cabinet system was a group of advisers to the prime minister. They
were called the cabinet because they met in a small room.
3. The Prime Minister was the leader of the majority party in Parliament
and in time the chief official of the British government.
The appearance of these institutions was part of the evolution of Britain’s
constitutional government, that is a government whose power is defined
and limited by law.
King George III
George III came to power anxious to reassert royal power. He
wanted to end Whig domination, choose his own
ministers, dissolve the cabinet system, and make Parliament follow
Toward these ends, he:
• Gave parliamentary seats to his friends and supporters.
• Tried to force English colonists in North America to pay the costs
of their own defense.
In 1775, George’s policies in North America triggered the American
Revolution, which ended in a loss for Britain.
French and Indian War Abigail Adams Lord North
Proclamation of 1763
Sugar Act/Stamp Act Samuel Adams Lexington
Townshend Duties Ben Franklin Saratoga
Quartering Act Paul Revere Yorktown
Boycott George Washington Marblehead, MA
Effigy Thomas Jefferson Bunker Hill/Breed’s Hill
Boston Massacre Patrick Henry Boston
Sons of Liberty Crispus Attucks Monmouth
Committees of Correspondence Thomas Paine Philadelphia
Tax/duty Peter Salem Treaty of Paris
Tea Act John Locke Valley Forge
Intolerable Acts Nathan Hale Trenton
Boston Tea Party Natural rights
“Gentleman” Johnny Burgoyne Emmanuel Leutze
Popular sovereignty George Rogers Clark
Social contract Francis Marion/The Swamp Fox
patriots/minutemen/militia Gen. Gage
Tories/Loyalists General Howe
Redcoats/Lobsterbacks Ethan Allen
Guerilla warfare Benedict Arnold/Major Andre
1st Continental Congress George III
Hessians/mercenaries Molly Pitcher
2nd Continental Congress Deborah Sampson Gannet
Common Sense/The Crisis Admiral de Grasse
Olive Branch Elizabeth Freeman/Mum Bett
Declaration of Independence Baron von Steuben
Revolutionary War Gen. Pulaski
American Revolution T. Kosciusko
Morgan’s Rifles William Dawes
The 13 Colonies
By the mid 1700s, the colonies were home to diverse
religious and ethnic groups. The colonists felt entitled to the
rights of English citizens, and their colonial assemblies
exercised much control over local affairs.
Although the ways of life between the colonists of New
England and those in the south differed, the colonists shared
common values, respect for individual enterprise, and an
increasing sense of their own identity separate from that of
After 1763, relations between Britain and the 13
colonies grew strained.
George III wanted the colonists to help pay for the
Seven Years’ War and troops still stationed along the
“No taxation without representation.” The colonists protested that
since they had no representation in Parliament, the British had no
right to tax them.
British troops fired on a crowd of colonists in the “Boston Massacre.”
Colonists protested by dumping British tea into Boston Harbor in the Boston Tea
Representatives from each colony met in a Continental Congress.
War broke out between Britain and the colonists.
The Second Continental Congress declared independence from Britain and issued
the Declaration of Independence.
Hobbes Social contract— Federalism
Locke Government for people – Am. Revolution
Natural rights- life, liberty, property —
Declaration of Independence
Voltaire Tolerance, reason, freedom of religion and speech
– Bill of Rights
Separation of Powers --Constitution
Rousseau Religious Freedom -- Bill of Rights
A New Constitution
The new constitution reflected the Enlightenment ideas of Locke,
Montesquieu, and Rousseau.
• The framers of the Constitution saw government in terms of a
social contract. They provided for an elective legislature and
an elected president.
• The Constitution created a federal republic, with power
divided between the federal government and the states.
• The federal government was separated among the
legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Each branch was
provided with checks and balances on the
• The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the
Constitution, recognized that people had basic
rights that the government must protect.