The Enlightenment and Democratic Revolution

Specific Objective: Compare the major ideas of philosophers and their effects on the democratic revolutions in England, the United States, France, and Latin America.

The Enlightenment, an intellectual movement that spread from Europe to America in the 1700s, helped inspire democratic revolutions in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Key enlightenment writers included Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau.

John Locke (England)

Influence: Locke’s ideas influenced Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration of Independence, the basis of the American Revolution. It stated that people have natural “unalienable rights” and that a government derives its power from the people.

Charles-Louis Montesquieu (France)

Influence: Montesquieu’s ideas influenced James Madison, sometimes called the father of the U.S. Constitution because of his many contributions at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The constitution separates government powers into three branches.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (France)

Influence: The ideas of Locke and Rousseau influenced Latin-American revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar. Bolívar fought to liberate his country, present-day Venezuela, from Spanish rule. He also led movements for independence and democracy in what are now the nations of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru.

Directions: Choose the letter of the best answer.

1. The European intellectual movement that emphasized the responsibility of government to protect people’s natural rights was called the

  1. Glorious Revolution.
  2. Reformation.
  3. Enlightenment.
  4. Great Awakening.

2. The phrase “natural rights” is original to and central to the writings of which philosopher?

  1. John Locke
  2. Charles-Louis Montesquieu
  3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  4. James Madison

3. The Declaration of Independence expresses the philosophy that the power of government comes from

  1. God.
  2. the people.
  3. natural rights.
  4. the Constitution.

4. Which statement best summarizes the role of government in the social contract?

  1. Its basis is the rights and responsibilities of the people.
  2. It has legislative, executive, and judicial responsibilities.
  3. It guarantees life, liberty, and the ownership of property.
  4. Its main purpose is to interpret laws.

5. What principle is directly reflected in the division of a government into three branches?

  1. natural laws
  2. separation of powers
  3. the social contract
  4. democracy and independence

6. The ideas of Locke and Rousseau influenced Simón Bolívar in his commitment to

  1. maintain the peaceful rule of the Spanish king.
  2. urge the Venezuelan government to separate into three branches.
  3. negotiate a social contract between Spain and Latin America.
  4. fight for democratic revolution in Latin America.
CALIFORNIA CONTENT STANDARD 10.2.2 Documents of Democracy

Specific Objective: List the principles of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights (1689), the American Declaration of Independence (1776), the French Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789), and the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791).

Because of their traditions as English citizens, American colonists expected to have the rights granted in England by the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights. However, they were often denied these rights, and tensions grew in the colonies, leading toward revolution. Many principles of the earlier British documents continued in the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. In Europe, some of the same principles and traditions carried into the French Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen.

Magna Carta (1215. , England)

English Bill of Rights (1689)

American Declaration of Independence (1776)

French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789)

U.S. Bill of Rights (1791)

Directions: Choose the letter of the best answer.

1. Which of the following rights in the U.S. Bill of Rights comes from a provision in the Magna Carta?

  1. freedom of speech
  2. freedom of religion
  3. the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  4. the right to due process of law

2. Which statement best summarizes the idea of representative government as it was established in the English Bill of Rights?

  1. Powers not granted to the king are kept by the people.
  2. Laws are made and carried out by a group that acts for the people.
  3. All people are born free and equal in rights.
  4. A strong central government protects individual freedoms.

3. English colonists in America expected to have representative government in the colonies because

  1. there was a tradition of representative government in England.
  2. they fled England specifically to establish representative government.
  3. the king had promised the colonists representative government.
  4. most countries at that time had representative government.

4. The idea that governments get their power from the people they govern is called

  1. checks and balances.
  2. popular sovereignty.
  3. natural rights.
  4. states’ rights.

5. The American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen both

  1. limit the power of the king.
  2. emphasize the rights of the individual.
  3. guarantee frequent meetings of Parliament.
  4. guarantee freedom of religion.

6. The term “unalienable rights” in the American Declaration of Independence refers to rights that

  1. immigrants do not possess.
  2. are guaranteed by written law.
  3. a government cannot take away.
  4. a government grants its people.
CALIFORNIA CONTENT STANDARD 10.2.3 The American Revolution

Specific Objective: Understand the unique character of the American Revolution, its spread to other parts of the world, and its continuing significance to other nations.

Read the summaries and time line to answer the questions on the next page. The American Revolution was rooted in the belief that people possess natural rights and that government has a responsibility to protect those rights. American Patriots believed that the British government had violated their rights. As a result, they declared their independence from British rule and sought to create their own government.

Key Events in the American Revolution

Unique Success The American Revolution occurred during an era of revolutionary movements. Not all revolutions succeeded in creating stable democracy. For example, after the French Revolution in 1789, France descended into chaos, as people rebelled against many traditions.  A dictatorship took over in 1799. By contrast, the American colonists rebelled mainly against British rule. After the revolution, they established laws that protected individual rights balanced with representative national and state governments.

Other Revolutionary Movements The American Revolution was the first of a series of wars for independence that shared some common beliefs. Shared ideas included an emphasis on individual rights and the idea that a government’s power comes from the people.

Directions: Choose the letter of the best answer.

1. A key issue that sparked the colonists to declare their independence from England was

  1. the example of the French Revolution.
  2. the issue of slavery.
  3. concern for individual rights.
  4. restrictions on immigration.

2. Which statement best describes the context in which the Declaration of Independence was issued?

  1. The Declaration of Independence was issued, and then war broke out.
  2. War broke out, and then the Declaration of Independence was issued.
  3. The British army surrendered; then the Declaration of Independence was issued.
  4. Americans achieved independence; then the Declaration of Independence was issued.

3. John Adams, second U.S. president, said that even before the War for Independence began, “The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people.” What is the best way to paraphrase Adams’s meaning?

  1. The American people were eager for war.
  2. Colonists had left England for the purpose of becoming revolutionaries.
  3. Every colonist one day becomes a revolutionary.
  4. The American Revolution was rooted in people’s beliefs.

4. Which document was written before all the others?

  1. Articles of Confederation
  2. U.S. Constitution
  3. Declaration of Independence
  4. United States Bill of Rights

5. What is one reason that the American Revolution resulted in a stable democracy, while some other revolutions did not?

  1. The United States rebelled against everything it had known.
  2. The Articles of Confederation provided a period of transition from British rule.
  3. Americans created both a strong government and protections for individual rights.
  4. The Declaration of Independence legislated the ideals of equality and liberty.

6. What feature was shared by the major revolutionary movements of the late 1700s and early 1800s?

  1. All maintained that government’s power comes from its people.
  2.   All took place in colonized parts of the world.
  3. Each ended with a bill of rights being passed by the new government.
  4. Each began with a declaration of independence.
CALIFORNIA CONTENT STANDARD 10.2.4 The French Revolution

Specific Objective: Explain how the ideology of the French Revolution led France to develop from a constitutional monarchy to democratic despotism to the Napoleonic empire.

Like the American Revolution, the French Revolution of 1789 erupted after years of yearning for freedom and justice. Unlike the American Revolution, the revolutionary movement in France ended not in democracy but in dictatorship. Revolutionaries succeeded in overthrowing the French Old Regime that had divided the people into three unequal social classes, or estates. But old problems of poverty and injustice remained.

 Revolutionaries could not agree on solutions and fought to keep control of the country. A period in the early 1790s was known as the Reign of Terror for the mass executions carried out by the revolutionary government’s Committee for Public Safety. Meanwhile, poverty and chaos wearied the nation. Stability came only after the military leader Napoleon Bonaparte seized control as dictator in 1799. His powers as dictator led again to instability, however, continuing for generations. France did not adopt a constitution that guaranteed representative government until 1875. .

Cause and Effect in the French Revolution

Directions: Choose the letter of the best answer.

1. Among the causes of the French Revolution was the

  1. excessive spending of King Louis XVI.
  2. rise of the National Assembly.
  3. Reign of Terror.
  4. loss of the Old Regime.

2. In pre-Revolutionary France, estates were

  1. homes of noblemen.
  2. social classes.
  3. systems of taxation.
  4. clubs for radicals.

3. Who carried out the “Reign of Terror” in France?

  1. the Old Regime
  2. Napoleon Bonaparte
  3. the Third Estate
  4. the Committee for Public Safety

4. Which statement best describes the circumstances in which Napoleon Bonaparte took power?

  1. France was economically and politically secure.
  2. The Revolution was new and chaotic.
  3. There had been ten years of instability.
  4. The king had finally agreed to let Napoleon take power.

5. What form of government did Napoleon Bonaparte lead?

  1. democracy
  2. monarchy
  3. republic
  4. dictatorship

European Nationalism from Napoleon Until the Revolutions of 1848

Specific Objective: Discuss how nationalism spread across Europe with Napoleon but as repressed for a generation under the Congress of Vienna and Concert of Europe until the Revolutions of 1848.

After Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France in 1799, he went on to expand is power across the continent. By 1812, he controlled much of Europe. However, any of the conquered lands rumbled with nationalism—loyalty to their own nations above all. Nationalists rose to throw off Napoleonic rule. As a result, Napoleon suffered series of significant military defeats from 1812 to 1815. , when his empire came to an and at the Battle of Waterloo.

The Congress of Vienna, 1814–1815.
What and why: A series of international meetings to secure peace across Europe
Who: King Frederick William III of Prussia, Czar Alexander I of Russia, Emperor Francis I of Austria; Foreign ministers from Britain and France; and, most importantly, Klemens von Metternich, foreign minister of Austria

Concert of Europe, c. 1820–1853
What and why: An international alliance that met when peacekeeping issues arose
the “Holy Alliance” of the leaders of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, led by Klemens von Metternich

Revolutions of 1848
What and why:
Uprisings for self-government in France, the Austrian Empire, and the German and Italian states
Who: Nationalists
who claimed loyalty to their fellow people rather than royal rulers

Directions: Choose the letter of the best answer.

1.  Who was the most important European leader at the Congress of Vienna?

  1. Napoleon Bonaparte
  2. King Frederick William III
  3. Czar Alexander I
  4. Klemens von Metternich

2. Which statement is true of the outcome of the Congress of Vienna?

  1. Its leaders created a balance of power in Europe.
  2. The French king was permanently exiled.
  3. Monarchy throughout Europe was weakened.
  4. The first nation-states were formed.

3. What was the primary concern of the Concert of Europe?

  1. Napoleonic control of Europe
  2. weakening the power in France
  3. the possibility of revolution
  4. the unification of Germany and Italy

4. The Revolutions of 1848 had a lasting impact because they

  1. proved nationalism had triumphed.
  2. were put down, but their ideals persisted.
  3. showed that nationalism had outlived its usefulness.
  4. all led to stable democracies.

5. Which statement would an Austrian nationalist in the 1840s be most likely to make?

  1. “My greatest loyalty is to my leader.”
  2. “I believe in the legitimacy of the monarch.”
  3. “The Holy Alliance is the key to our independence.”
  4. “Our shared history and culture unite me with my people.”

6. Germany and Italy became two unified nation-states as a result of

  1. the Congress of Vienna.
  2. the Concert of Europe.
  3. nationalist movements
  4. the Holy Alliance.