Some basic principles of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution are the belief in reason over superstition. This belief in reason was behind the changes in political theory and ideas of government during the Enlightenment, as philosophers and political scientists such as Locke and Rousseau believed that governments should respect personal liberty and practice tolerance. These beliefs inspired political theories such as the social contract theory, which stated that the monarch had to follow the will of the people or be removed, and the separation of powers in different branches of government to check the power of the monarch.
In addition, the belief in reason inspired the Scientific Revolution, in which empiricism, or the importance of relying on evidence to corroborate scientific theories, became a guiding principle. This belief was important in laying the evidence-based groundwork for modern science and in ending the belief in superstition or religion to govern one's scientific understanding of the world.