Term Definition
geocentric theory the theory that earth is the center of the universe, and the sun, moon, and planets revolve around the earth
Scientific Revolution the posing and testing of theories about the natural world that began in the mid-1500s in Europe
scientific method a five-step process used to investigate scientific hypotheses
Rene' Descartes French scholar who used reason – logic and math – to prove basic truths
Nicolaus Copernicus Polish astronomer who recognized the inaccuracy of the geocentric theory; his complete model of the solar system supported the heliocentric theory
heliocentric theory the theory that the sun is near the center of the universe and the earth rotates around the sun
Galileo Galilei Italian astronomer who built the first telescope and published a book that supported Galileo's heliocentric theory, and stood trial for heresy
Isaac Newton English scientist, developed the universal laws of gravity and motion
Enlightenment the time during which philosophers emphasized the use of reason to understand truth, also known as the Age of Reason
salons social gatherings at which writers, artists, and thinkers discussed their ideas
social contract the arrangement between individuals and their government: people give up some of their personal freedoms in exchange for order, peace, and safety
John Locke political philosopher whose ideas about government later influenced the writers of the constitution
Jean-Jacques Rousseau thinker who believed people were naturally good but that society corrupts
Baron de Montesquieu writer who argued in favor of separation of power and checks and balances in government
philosophes French term for the philosophers of the Enlightenment
Voltaire Witty French writer who supported justice, liberty, and religious tolerance
enlightened despots rulers inspired by Enlightenment ideas to make social reforms
chapter 19

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