History enlightenment

What Was ‘The Enlightenment’?

The intellectual and political edifice of Christianity, seemingly impregnable in the Middle Agesfell in turn to the assaults made on it by humanismthe Renaissanceand the Protestant Reformation.

Christian thinkers gradually found uses for their Greco-Roman heritage. John Locke conceived of the human mind as being at birth a tabula rasaa blank slate on which History enlightenment wrote freely and boldly, creating the individual character according to the individual experience of the world.

For Martin Luther as for Bacon or Descartes, the way to truth lay in the application of human reason. And in France, the people were getting restless under their despotic rulers. The Americans had gained their freedom from Britain and created a new republic. It stretched from to After that disaster, few people believed that a reason-based, egalitarian society could, in fact, function.

At the same time, the idea of the universe as a mechanism governed by a few simple—and discoverable—laws had a subversive effect on the concepts of a personal God and individual salvation that were central to Christianity. Amid the turmoil of empire, however, a new concern arose for personal salvationand the way was paved for the triumph of the Christian religion.

Locke and Jeremy Bentham in England, MontesquieuVoltaireJean-Jacques RousseauDenis Diderotand Condorcet in France, and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson in colonial America all contributed to an evolving critique of the arbitrary, authoritarian state and to sketching the outline of a higher form of social organization, based on natural rights and functioning as a political democracy.


Have courage to use your own reason! She argued that women ought to be treated the same as men, and advocated for a society entirely founded on reason. In a darker vein, Thomas Hobbes portrayed humans as moved solely by considerations of their own pleasure and pain.

For the Deist, a very few religious truths sufficedand they were truths felt to be manifest to all rational beings: The Enlightenment was sweeping Europe. The Reign of Terror that followed the French Revolution severely tested the belief that an egalitarian society could govern itself.

The Enlightenment was both a movement and a state of mind. It begun with the American War for Independence and ended with a bang when the French Revolution shook the world, causing many to question whether ideas of egalitarianism and pure reason were at all safe or beneficial for society.

During her career in the late s, she wrote all sorts of essays, treatises, and speeches.

Composers like Joseph Haydn and geniuses like Mozart paved the way for music that was brilliant, bright, and celebrated the natural elements of nature.

The system of thought known as Scholasticismculminating in the work of Thomas Aquinasresurrected reason as a tool of understanding but subordinated it to spiritual revelation and the revealed truths of Christianity. A scene by William Hogarth.

One that History enlightenment in the face of eras before. Now, suddenly, reason was for the people. This idea would permeate the Age of Reason and set it alight. The Enlightenment was the first time in European history that art served not only a political or religious agenda, sponsored by the rich in society, but also served as a medium of expression.

The success of Newtonin particular, in capturing in a few mathematical equations the laws that govern the motions of the planetsgave great impetus to a growing faith in the human capacity to attain knowledge. These beliefs and factors combined with the scientific leaps made during the Enlightenment would drive the world forward toward the Industrial period, and, to the philosophical, artistic, and literary period known as the Romantic Era.

The French wanted in. The notion of humans as neither good nor bad but interested principally in survival and the maximization of their own pleasure led to radical political theories. Philosopher Immanuel Kant asked the self-same question in his essay of the same name.

The idea of society as a social contracthowever, contrasted sharply with the realities of actual societies. The celebration of abstract reason provoked contrary spirits to begin exploring the world of sensation and emotion in the cultural movement known as Romanticism.

The Renaissance rediscovered much of Classical culture and revived the notion of humans as creative beings, and the Reformation, more directly but in the long run no less effectively, challenged the monolithic authority of the Roman Catholic Church.The Enlightenment (–) quiz that tests what you know.

Perfect prep for The Enlightenment (–) quizzes and tests you might have in school. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change.

The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. History and the Enlightenment [Hugh Trevor-Roper] on killarney10mile.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Arguably the leading British historian of his generation, Hugh Trevor-Roper (–) is most celebrated and admired as the author of essays. This volume brings together some of the most original and radical writings of his career—many hitherto inaccessible5/5(3).

Enlightenment, French siècle des Lumières (literally “century of the Enlightened”), German Aufklärung, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics.

The Enlightenment was the first time in European history that art served not only a political or religious agenda, sponsored by the rich in society, but also served as a medium of expression. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes The Enlightenment (–) Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.

History enlightenment
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