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The Enlightenment in Europe

The Enlightenment

Emoke Edgington

on 19 November 2018

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Transcript of The Enlightenment in Europe

in Europe was an
intellectual movement
in the 17th and 18th centuries that stressed
and thought and the power of individuals to solve problems.
→ also called “
The Age of Reason
” (reached its height in mid 1700s)
→ was sparked by the Scientific Revolution → educated Europeans learned that
natural laws
governed the physical universe
→ they reasoned that similar laws must govern human society as well → if people were able to discover these laws, they might be used to
construct a better government and more just societies
--> the thinkers, philosophers, and writers who examined the social and political problems of the time were known as
→ they believed that everything, even government and religion, should be open to
reason and criticism
→ they believed that through the use of reason, logic, and experience, people could
improve society
and its laws, the economy, etc.
→ The Philosophes claimed that humans had certain
natural rights
(life, liberty, happiness)
→ spread of Enlightenment ideas: literary salons, academies, books, pamphlets (printed in Switzerland or Netherlands → republics → no censorship), Diderot's Encyclopedia
Thomas Hobbes (1588 -1679)
→ first of the English Enlightenment philosophers → was deeply
influenced by the English Civil War
Major figures of the Enlightenment
John Locke (1632- 1704) → English philosopher → was influenced by the Glorious Revolution
Voltaire (1694 -1778)
French writer, philosopher
fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of speech, freedom of religious belief
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)
son of Swiss watchmaker
his ideas inspired the leaders of the French Revolution
Baron de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755)
French writer
→ believed that Britain was the best-governed and politically most balanced country in his time

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
a self-educated English philosopher
focused on women's rights
Enlightened Despots: Frederick the Great
of Prussia
Enlightened despot:
Catherine the Great of Russia
Short Answer Question:

Why was the Enlightenment a turning point?

Make a claim and provide 3 arguments to support your claim. Your answer should be a full paragraph (6-8 sentences).
Full transcript