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BEFORE YOU WATCH: The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What, according to the video, was powerful about Nicolaus Copernicus’ On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres?
  2. What, according to the video, was important about Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia?
  3. According to the video, how did these questions lead to changes in how people thought about political rights and organizations (in the Enlightenment)?
  4. What is the argument John Locke makes in the excerpt from Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government presented in this video?
  5. This video asks to what degree the Enlightenment helped people. But it also speaks to the limits of the Enlightenment. What were some of these limits?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. This video makes the argument that the ideas of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment in Europe led to political revolution later in this era. Do you think these ideas were enough to launch revolutions and revolutionary wars? What else might have been necessary? Think about the story of how you got to school today. How might this story change when you filter it through one of the three frames for this course?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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