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The Enlightenment in Europe

The Enlightenment
by

Emoke Edgington

on 19 November 2018

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Transcript of The Enlightenment in Europe

The
Enlightenment
in Europe was an
intellectual movement
in the 17th and 18th centuries that stressed
reason
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
Philosophes
→ 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