What Historical Developments influenced Modern Ideas of Individual Rights? UNIT ONE: LESSON THREE JUDEO – CHRISTIAN INFLUENCES Classical Republicanism & Natural Rights philosophies influenced the Founders Judeo-Christian religious traditions also influenced them Emphasized Private Morality over Public Morality(inner faith and obedience to God) Used Biblical Teachings to model expected behaviors Valued the worth of each individuals (good will & loving others) FEUDALISM Society divided into different classes & groups (royals, nobility, clergy, craftsmen, peasants & serfs) each with its own rules and responsibilities Society was HIERARCHICAL – groups ranked from most powerful to least powerful. No equality existed between the classes Social relationships were permanent and heredity Not free to leave the class into which you were born Land not freely bought or sold. Only passed on thru inheritance Inheriting property (usually oldest son) also brought responsibilities Rights and Duties were tied to the group you belonged to. There was no concept of rights RENAISSANCE & REFORMATION HOW DID THEY CONTRIBUTE TO IDEAS ABOUT RIGHTS Renaissance: a time marked by a revival of intellectual life (14th Century) Cities developed economically, educationally, technologically Especially the printing press which meant people could read and learn themselves Some began to place more importance on the individual than on the class they belonged to The Spirit of free inquiry and individual conscience posed a threat to the established institutions (gov’t and church) THE RISE OF THE NATION-STATE At the end of the Middle Ages, rulers were beginning to expand their realms into larger and larger states Not easy to expand (Wars & Illness wiped out 1/3 to ½ of the population) The Treaty of Westphalia (settled one of the bloodier wars) Recognized national sovereignty Recognized the right of each nation-state to an independent existence Each nation-state would respect the others right to choose their own path THE RISE OF CAPITALISM The increase in commercial trade and the expansion of trade over greater distances impacted old medieval society Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for a profit in a competitive market Capitalism allows more people to choose their own occupations, to state their own businesses and to buy and sell property People began to pay more attention to their own private interests than to the Common Good The goal was to improve their own economic position Power began to shift from old powerful families to the new wealth Natural Rights (gov’t role to protect property) and reformed religion (wealth a sign of God’s grace) supported this new social society “THE ENLIGHTENMENT” INSPIRES THE AMERICAN FOUNDERS The Enlightenment brought study of the natural world and the laws that govern it Science and Technology quickly advanced By the 18th Century, it was believed Man could solve all the problems that had plagued the world for centuries FRANCIS BACON (English Philosopher) Man not only had the power to understand nature, but could control it for the benefit of humanity Discoveries by GALILEO and COPERNICUS seemed to confirm this theory This theory extended to the study of Man and Government HOBBES and LOCKE believed human behavior could be understood, predicted and controlled MONTESQUIEU posed that government, economy and geography were intertwined. Governments needed to be tailored for each unique nation The American Founders believed in the “New Science of Politics” which allowed them to understand the workings of governmental and social institutions REVIEW QUESTIONS How would you describe the difference between “Classical Republicanism” and “Judeo-Christian Morality” How did the Judeo-Christian heritage contribute to the Founders’ understanding of human rights? What features of the Middle Ages society contributed to the view that rights belonged to groups rather than the individuals? How did feudalism contribute to the idea that government is based on contractual relationships? What modern ideas about rights were developed during the Renaissance? How did the Reformation contribute to the development of these ideas? How did the rise of the Nation-State help stimulate thinking about the principles of government like constitutionalism, individual rights, and republicanism? How did the creation of Capitalism encourage new thinking about the individual and society? How did the invention of the printing press promote the spirit of individualism? How did the Age of Enlightenment influence the Founders?