Unit 3: Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. This was the residence of
Catherine the Great who had an on-again/off-again relationship with the
philosophes. On the one hand, she corresponded with them and urged
them to travel to Russia--Diderot did come for a while but then fled
back to France--on the other hand, she implemented none of their
enlightened ideas for Russia. See my materials on Catherine in HIS 241. The Winter Palace is now part of the Hermitage Museum.
What you must do in this unit
What you can do in this unit
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
Extra Credit Options
- Listen to some further information about this unit
as a mp3 file. You can also read the information as
a txt file.
- Check out the National Archives website devoted to the Declaration of Independence, which has images, transcripts and critical articles.
- When I teach this course on campus, I usually schedule a class on the development of classical music in the eighteenth century. Here is a link to my class notes on classical music (*.pdf). I have also put on www.nvcc.edu/itunesu/ (under HIS 102) a file with some of the selections of music that I play in that class.
- Take the short 5-point quizzes for chapters 16 and 17. Log into Blackboard and look under "Chapter Quizzes." You have five minutes to complete each quiz (multiple-choice questions).
- Watch Barry Lyndon
and write a one-page
paper (Was the movie an accurate depiction of eighteenth-century European life?) for a maximum of 50 points.
- In a well-researched, one-page paper,
explain who fired the first shot of the American Revolution for a maximum of 50
- For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, watch Amadeus
and write a one-page paper in which you examine which aspects of the European Enlightenment the movie
- For a maximum of 50 points, read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
(free copy at art-bin.com/art/oweala.html)
and explain, in a one-page paper, how his conception of capitalism does or does not match the characteristics of
- For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, read Nicholas Copernicus, The Revolutions of the Heavenly
1543, excerpts, and write a one-page paper explaining some of the
revolutionary ideas found in this text. Please be sure to include
- For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, in a one-page paper, explain the principle points of
Immanuel Kant's idealist philosophy as expounded in his
Critique of Pure Reason
(free copy at www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/cpr/toc.html).
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, in a long paragraph, What did Voltaire mean, in terms of
the European Enlightenment, when he wrote "let us cultivate our garden" at the end of
(free copy at www.literature.org/authors/voltaire/candide/).
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit (maybe more), have a look at Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica
and write a long paragraph explaining some of the revolutionary ideas
found in this text. Please be sure to include quoted material.
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, read Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755), The Spirit of the Laws
(1748), excerpts, and write a long paragraph in which you explain
Montesquieu's main political ideas. Please be sure to include
- For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, read Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): A Discourse Upon
The Origin and The Foundation of The Inequality among Mankind,
and write a long paragraph in which you explain Rousseau's ideas about
inequality. Please be sure to include quoted material.
- For a maximum of 10 points, read the Proclamation of Rebellion by
King George III as he reacted to the American rebellion (1775) and
write a short paragraph summarizing the King's view of his American
- For extra credit, please suggest a
relevant website for this unit of the course. Send the title of the site, the url and a
brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to
the material being studied this unit.