Divine Right, Absolutism, and the Enlightenment Primary Source Analysis

Grade Levels
8th - 11th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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  • Google Apps™
5 pages
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This primary source analysis activity on Divine Right is an excellent higher-order thinking resource for a unit on Absolute Monarchs or the Enlightenment!

The activity includes 2 primary source excerpts. The first is from England's King James I. In it, he details his reasoning for why Divine Right is justified and why Kings are like Gods on Earth.

The second source is from John Locke's Two Treatises of Government and explains why Absolutism is not a fair government and why power can only come from the consent of the governed.

Both of the primary sources are paired with analysis sheets in which students identify the argument from each author, explain their reasoning, and then provide their own analysis of James' and Locke's arguments.

Both completed answer keys and links to editable Google Doc versions of each page are included for your convenience. A directions page also includes lesson plan suggestions.

This resource can also be downloaded as part of my Absolute Monarchs and Enlightenment Complete Unit Bundle!

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Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.


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