Term Definition
Geocentric theory The theory that Earth is the center of the universe, and the sun, moon, and planets revolve around 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 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, artist, and thinkers discussed their ideas.
Social contract The arrangement between individuals and their government: people give up some of their personal freedom in exchange for order, peace, and saftey
John Locke Political philosopher whose ideas about the government later influenced the writers of the Constitution.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Thinker who believed people are naturally good but that society corrupts.
Baron de Montesquieu Writer who argued in favor of separation of power and checks and balances.
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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