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The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution


Students analyze the historical developments of the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on religious, political, and cultural institutions. Students analyze political, social, and economic change as a result of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe.




Here we present an absorbing map of the Earth; Planiglobii terrestris cum utroq hemisphærio cælesti generalis repræsentatio. It was made in 1716.

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Here we present an absorbing map of the Earth; Planiglobii terrestris cum utroq hemisphærio cælesti generalis repræsentatio. It was made in 1716.

press to zoom



  • Why do people resist new ideas or major changes?

  • What is Science?

  • What is the relationship between science and religion?

  • How did the Scientific Revolution influence government, society and the arts in different places around the world?

  • How did the effects of the Renaissance lead to contributions made during the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment? 



"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."  ~Galileo Galilei


"The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go."  ~Galileo Galilei


"I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations."  ~Galileo Galilei


"Why then do we hesitate to grant [the Earth] the motion which accords naturally with its form, rather than attribute a movement to the entire universe whose limit we do not and cannot know? And why should we not admit, with regard to the daily rotation, that the appearance belongs to the heavens, but the reality is in the Earth?"

~Copernicus, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies (1543)





  • heliocentric

  • scientific method

  • hypothesis

  • gravity

  • natural law

  • social contract

  • laissez faire

  • free market

  • economy

  • censorship

  • propaganda






  • Identify advances in science and the scienctists that challenged the old view of the world.

  • Understand that scientific discoveries and the belief that ideas could be tested and confirmed led to new ways of thinking about society.

  • Describe the ideas of the Enlightenment and how they influenced society, government, economics, and the arts.

  • The creative thinking of the Renaissance led to the Age of Reason. 



The Scientific Revolution...

Done By:  Lisa Ayyad, Mohamed El-Shorafa, Shady Salama

7.59 Describe the roots of the Scientific Revolution based upon Christian and Muslim influences.


In this lesson we explore the Scientific Revolution and the controversy which surrounds the very term. Additionally, we learn about just a few of the most important thinkers of the period who laid the foundation for our modern understanding of the world.


In this lesson, we explore the philosophical, religious, and cultural effects of the Scientific Revolution on Early Modern society - effects that forever changed the Western view of the universe and humanity's place within it.

Science and Islam - The Power of Doubt, Part 3...

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.

Al-Khalili turns detective, hunting for clues that show how the scientific revolution that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe had its roots in the earlier world of medieval Islam. He travels across Iran, Syria and Egypt to discover the huge astronomical advances made by Islamic scholars through their obsession with accurate measurement and coherent and rigorous mathematics.

He then visits Italy to see how those Islamic ideas permeated into the West and ultimately helped shape the works of the great European astronomer Copernicus, and investigates why science in the Islamic world appeared to go into decline after the 16th and 17th centuries, only for it to re-emerge in the present day.

Al-Khalili ends his journey in the Royan Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran, looking at how science is now regarded in the Islamic world.

The Enlightenment, Part 1...
The Enlightenment, Part 2...
7.61 Trace how the main ideas of the Enlightenment can be traced back to such movements and epochs as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Greeks, the Romans, and Christianity.
  • Scientific Revolution convinced many European thinkers about power of reason

  • Scientific method and reason led to discoveries about physical world

  • Wondered if reason could be used to study human nature, society

  • New generation of philosophers, 1600s

  • Viewed reason as best way to understand truth

  • Concluded reason could be used to solve all human problems

  • This time of optimism now called the Enlightenment 




7.63 Explain the origins of modern capitalism, the influence of mercantilism, and the cottage industry; the elements and importance of a market economy in 17th century Europe; the changing international trading and marketing patterns; including their locations on a world map; and the influence of explorers and mapmakers.


Capitalism and Socialism:  Crash Course..
Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Two Treatises of Government, John Locke; excerpts from The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu
7.60 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources explaining the significance of new scientific theories, the accomplishments of leading figures including Sir Frances Bacon, Nicolaus Copernicus, Rene Descartes, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Sir Isaac Newton, and new inventions, including the telescope, microscope, thermometer, and barometer.


Galileo's Battle for the "Heavens"...

At a time when heretics were burned alive for dissent, scientist Galileo Galilei risked his life to advance his revolutionary concepts of the Universe.


Newton's Dark Secrets...

English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution.


Six Word Memoirs for Enlightenment Thinkers...

Trying to delve into the mindset of Enlightenment thinkers, students in the HTHS freshman humanities class make six word memoirs from the point of view of famous philosophes and scientists of that time.

Song: The Scientist by Coldplay
Six Word Memoirs Made With and Inspired By: National Writing Project Digitalis 

7.62 Describe the accomplishments of major Enlightenment thinkers, including Locke and Charles-Louis Montesquieu.



The 18th Century proudly referred to itself as the "Age of Enlightenment" and rightfully so, for  Europe had dwelled in the dim glow of the Middle Ages when suddenly the lights began to come on in men's minds and humankind moved forward.




Search for inventors and inventions by name, historical era, country, or field. Under A you will find everything from adhesive tape to Archimedes with a working level demonstrated. Each entry is a brief encyclopedic description, many enhanced by pictures.






A multimedia reconstruction of the context and issues of reference of objects associaled with Galileo and his times.



A piano playing caveman sets the record straight about the invention of the sandwich.


An amusing account of Sir Isaac Newton's problem with publishing his most important work...

Sir Isaac Newton: "What's This Force?" | SUNG HISTORY

The father of physics Isaac Newton asks the big questions: why oh why?

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