Unit 5: Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
must do in this unit
What you can do in this unit
Arouet, better know simply as Voltaire (1694-1778), embodied the
essence of the Enlightenement with his relentless critique and satire of
government, church and society. This is the work by the renowned
French sculptor, Jean-Antoine Houdon, commissioned by Catherine the
Great and presently in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. See some other photos of the works in the Hermitage collections.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
- You may listen to some further information about the
Enlightenment from my HIS 102 course.
- Check out the National Archives website devoted to the Declaration of Independence, which has images, transcripts and critical articles.
- When I teach the HIS 102 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.
Extra Credit Options
- See the videos dealing with the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment in the HIS 102 course.
- For extra credit please suggest to your instructor a relevant video for this unit of the course. Send the title of the video, the url and a brief explanation of why you find the video interesting and applicable to the material that is being studied in this unit.
- Take the short 5-point quiz for chapter 26. 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 (maybe two pages is also ok),
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, in a long paragraph comment upon Voltaire's criticism of organized religion in his dictionary entry.
- 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 10 points maximum extra credit, answer the Declaration study sheet questions.
- 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.