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Enlightenment

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Enlightenment

  1. 1. Enlightenment 1700 CE – 1790 CE
  2. 2. Path to Enlightenment • The Enlightenment was an 18th- century philosophical movement of intellectuals who based their ideas on the achievements of the Scientific Revolution. • Enlightenment philosophers wanted to make progress toward a better society through reason, natural Voltaire law, hope, and progress. • Voltaire and John Locke were huge influences during the Enlightenment. Voltaire sought religious tolerance for all religions while John Locke sought to find natural laws that governed human behavior that could be used to better humanity. • Locke argued that everyone was born with a tabula rasa, or a blank slate, and we are shaped by our experiences; if negative experiences could be John Locke eliminated, a good and just society would develop; he believed if institutions would follow natural laws it would produce an ideal society
  3. 3. Philosophes Intellectuals of the Enlightenment were known by the French name philosophes, which means “philosopher.”  The term included philosophers, writers, professors, journalists, economists, and social reformers.  They came chiefly from the nobility and middle classes. Most of the leaders of the Enlightenment were Frenchmen who were inspired by the Englishmen of the Scientific Revolution To philosophes, the role of philosophy was to change the world.  The purpose of philosophy is to improve humanity and make life better and happier  Philosophes study humanity through reason or an appeal to facts  Everything had to be open to rational criticism, including religion and politics Philosophes often disagreed, especially since the Enlightenment spanned almost a century  Each succeeding generation became more radical as it built on the contributions of the previous one  A few people dominated the philosophical landscape: Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot
  4. 4. Montesquieu Montesquieu came from French nobility  He wrote The Spirit of the Laws, which was a study of governments  He tried to use the scientific method to find the natural laws that govern the social and political relationships of human beings  He identified three basic kinds of government:  Republics, for small states;  Despotism, for large states;  Monarchies, for moderately sized states  He analyzed the separation of powers in the English government, that functioned with checks and balances so that no one branch of government was more powerful than any other  Montesquieus’s principles are found in the U.S.Constitution
  5. 5. Voltaire Voltaire came from a prosperous middle class family He is considered the greatest figure of the Enlightenment He wrote pamphlets, novels, plays, letters, essays, and histories He was well known for his criticism of Christianity and his strong belief in religious tolerance. He published Treatise on Toleration, in which he philosophized “all men are brothers under God.” Voltaire believed in deism, a belief that God created the universe, but it was like a clock; once set in motion, it runs without interference from God, and runs according to natural laws
  6. 6. Diderot Diderot studied at the University of Paris, where he wrote Encyclopedia, or Classified Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades  It was a 28-volume collection of knowledge, published over twenty years  The Encyclopedia was used in the fight against the old French social order, and as a critique of religion Diderot worked to attack religious superstition and supported religious toleration The Encyclopedia was used to spread knowledge and the ideas of the Enlightenment
  7. 7. Social Sciences Economics – Adam Smith, a Scottish philosopher, is considered one of the founders of the social science economics, along with the French physiocrats.  The Physiocrats were interested in identifying the natural economic laws that governed human society; they maintained that if individuals were free to pursue their own economic self-interests, all society would ultimately benefit  The Physiocrats believed the State (government) should not interrupt the free play of natural economic forces by imposing government regulation on the economy; the state should leave the economy alone  This doctrine is known as laissez-faire economics, meaning “let the people do what they want”  Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, which supported the laissez-faire doctrine that government should not interfere with the economy  Smith believed the government had only three basic roles:  Protecting society from invasion (army)  Defending citizens from injustice (police)  Keeping up certain public works, such as roads and canals
  8. 8. Crime & Punishment By the 18th century, most European states had developed a system of courts to deal with the punishment of crime  Punishments were often cruel and were meant to deter others from committing crimes, partially because the state could not maintain a large police force to ensure the capture of criminals Cesare Beccaria wrote On Crimes and Punishments, which postulated that punishments should not be exercises in brutality  He opposed capital punishment because he believed it did not stop others from committing crimes  He did not believe the state should commit murder: “Is it not absurd, that the laws, which punish murder, should, in order to prevent murder, publicly commit murder themselves?”
  9. 9. Jean-Jacques Rousseau In the late 1760s, a new generation of philosophes came to maturity; most famous among them was Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Rousseau wrote Discourse on the Origins of the Inequality of Mankind, in which he argued that people had adopted laws and government in order to preserve their private property, and in the process had become enslaved by the government  He also wrote The Social Contract, where he presented the concept of the social contract, in which an entire society agrees to be governed by its general will; individuals who wish instead to follow their own self-interests were forced to abide by the general will:  “This means nothing less than that they will be forced to be free:”  Liberty is achieved by being forced to follow what is best for “the general will” and represents what’s best for the entire community  Rousseau also wrote about education and the need for education to foster children’s natural instincts rather than restrict them  Rousseau also believed that emotions, as well as reason, were important to human development; he sought a balance between the heart and the mind, between emotions and reason  Rousseau believed women should be educated to be wives and mothers, by learning obedience and the nurturing skills that would enable them to provide for their husbands and children
  10. 10. Rights of Women Male philosophers for centuries had postulated that women were inferior to men, which made male domination of women necessary Female philosophers in the 18th century began to express their ideas about improving the conditions of women Mary Wollstonecraft wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women, which identified two problems with the views of many Enlightenment thinkers:  The same people who argued that women must obey men also said government based on the arbitrary power of the monarchs over their subjects was wrong; she pointed out that the arbitrary power of men over women was equally wrong  She also argued that the Enlightenment was based on an ideal of reason in all human beings; because women have reason, they are entitled to the same rights as men  Wollstonecraft believed women should have equal rights in education, as well
  11. 11. Social World of the Enlightenment Growth of Reading – Both publishing and the rate of literacy increased during the Enlightenment; the amount of books being published per year tripled in just under thirty years (from 1750 to 1780) and the literacy rate increased, especially among the middle class; magazines also began being published, along with daily newspapers Salons – Salons were elegant drawing rooms of the wealthy upper class’s great urban houses; gatherings in salons brought writers, artists, and the upper class together and helped to spread Enlightenment ideas; women who hosted salons found themselves in a position to sway political opinion and influence literary and artistic taste
  12. 12. Religion in the Enlightenment Although religion was attacked by philosophes throughout the Enlightenment, most Europeans were still Christians The Catholic parish remained an important center of life for the entire community Protestant churches had settled into well-established patterns and were often controlled by state authorities; many Protestants sought a deeper religious experience, which led to new religious movements  The most famous new religious movement – the Methodists – was the work of John Wesley, an Anglican minister who believed he had a mystical experience in which “the gift of God’s grace” assured him of salvation  He became a missionary among the English; his powerful sermons caused many to convert to his cause; his converts joined Methodist societies which gave them a sense of purpose and community  Methodism appealed to the middle and lower classes;
  13. 13. Impact of the Enlightenment – The Arts Kings built grandiose palaces based on Louis XIV palace at Versailles Balthasar Neumann was considered one of the greatest architects of the Enlightenment  He designed the Church of the Fourteen Saints in Germany and The Residence, a palace of the prince-bishop of Wurzburg  Bright, light colors, fanciful decoration, and lavish ornamentation were hallmarks of the Enlightenment period A new style developed, called Rococo, which was based on the baroque and neoclassical styles that dominated the 17th century; rococo emphasized grace, charm, and gentle actions – it made use of delicate designs colored in gold with graceful curves Rococo is seen in music, architecture, and art like sculpture and painting
  14. 14. Impact of Enlightenment - Music The 18th century was one of the greatest periods in the history of European music  Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel were great composers Bach from the first half of the 18th century;  Bach – spent his entire life in Germany; he is considered one of the greatest composers of all time  Handel – known best for his Messiah, he was a German composer but spent much of his career in England  Mozart - a child prodigy, Mozart struggled to find a patron to support him so he could compose; he wrote throughout his life and is known for three of the world’s greatest operas, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Handel Flute, and Don Giovanni. Mozart
  15. 15. Enlightened Absolutism Enlightenment thought had an affect on the political life in European states  Philosophes believed in natural rights for all people, including equality before the law, freedom of religious worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to assemble, hold property, and pursue happiness (sound familiar ? It should!)  Philosophes believed people needed to be governed by Enlightened leaders, or those who allow religious tolerance, freedom of speech and press, and the protection of private property  A new type of monarchy emerged in the 18th century, which historians call enlightened absolutism, where rulers tried to govern based on Enlightenment principles  The major monarchs of the period sometimes followed Enlightenment practices and sometimes did not; we will examine Prussia, Austria, and Russia as examples
  16. 16. Prussia: Army & Bureaucracy Frederick William I and Frederick William II were two Prussian kings who helped make Prussia a major European power in the 18th century  Frederick I built a strong bureaucracy of civil service workers; the values of the bureaucracy were obedience, honor, and service to the king  Frederick I also built a huge army; he had the fourth largest army in Europe; because of its size and its reputation as one of the best armies in Europe, it was the most important institution in the state  Members of the nobility were the officers of the army; they believed in duty, obedience, and sacrifice and had a strong sense of service to the king Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great, was one of the best educated and most cultured monarchs in the 18th century  He was well-versed in the ideas of the Enlightenment (he invited Voltaire to his court to live for several years)  He enlarged the bureaucracy and the army  He implemented some reforms based on the Enlightenment: he abolished the use of torture except in murder or treason cases; he granted limited freedom of the speech and press, and allowed greater religious toleration  He kept the rigid social structure intact and avoided reforming the social structure, leaving serfs without much protection
  17. 17. Austrian Empire Austria was difficult to rule because of its size; it was composed of many different nationalities, languages, religions and cultures Empress Maria Theresa, who inherited the throne in 1740, worked to centralize the empire and strengthen the power of the state Her son Joseph II believed in the need to sweep away anything that stood in the path of reason; he believed Enlightenment Philosophy should be used to rules the empire  He abolished serfdom, eliminated the death penalty, established the principle of equality of all before the law, and enacted religious reforms, including religious toleration  His reform program largely failed; he alienated the nobles when he freed the serfs, he alienated the Catholic Church with his religious reforms;  His successors undid nearly all of his reforms
  18. 18. Russia: Catherine the Great Peter the Great was followed by six weak successors; after the last of these, Peter III was murdered, his German wife Catherine emerged as the ruler of all the Russians Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796  She studied Enlightenment principles and invited philosophers to her court  She did not make any of the reforms suggested by philosophers, as she needed to keep the Russian nobles happy in order to maintain their support  She favored the Russian nobility, which made conditions worse for the Russian peasants, which eventually led to rebellion; the rebellion soon collapsed, and Catherine took stronger measures against the peasants; all rural reform was halted and serfdom was expanded  Catherine also expanded the Russian territory, gaining about 50% of Poland’s territory and spreading southward to the Black Sea
  19. 19. Enlightened Absolutism 18th century monarchs were concerned with power, strengthening the state, and expanding territory They did not use Enlightenment ideals to rule (except Joseph II, who had an unsuccessful attempt) Monarchs were concerned with the balance of power; the idea that states should have equal power in order to prevent any one from dominating the others They did not have a desire for peace – large armies were created to defend state security, but were often used to conquer new lands
  20. 20. War of Austrian Succession The War of Austrian Succession was fought from 1740 to 1748  The Austrian Emperor Charles VI did in 1740; he was succeeded by his daughter Maria Theresa  King Frederick II of Prussia took advantage of the succession and invaded Austrian Silesia  This caused France to enter the war against Austria, it’s traditional enemy  Maria Theresa struck an alliance with Great Britain  In Europe, Prussia seized Silesia while France occupied the Austrian Netherlands  In the Far East, France took Madras in India from the British  In North America, the British captured the French fortress of Louisbourg at the entrance of the St. Lawrence River  The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle guaranteed the return of all occupied territories except Silesia to their original owners; Prussia and Austria still fought over Silesia
  21. 21. Europe in 1795
  22. 22. Seven Year’s War Maria Theresa refused to accept the loss of Silesia to the Prussians  She rebuilt her army while working to separate France from Prussia (they were strong allies)  In 1756, she achieved a diplomatic revolution, in which France abandoned Prussia and allied with Austria, Russia also joined this alliance  This led to another worldwide war that had three major theaters: Europe, India, and North America  In Europe, the British and Prussians fought the Austrians, Russians, and French  Frederick II of Prussia’s armies were able to hold out for awhile, but facing attack from three directions, it was difficult to maintain his armies and he was gradually worn down  Russia’s Peter III withdrew his troops from the conflict and gave back the lands the Russians occupied; this led to a stalemate and the desire for peace; the war ended in 1763  In India, Britain and France struggled over territory, but the British won out  In North America, the French and British fought over territory; French North America (Canada and Louisiana) were large trading areas with high value  The British & French fought over the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Ohio River Valley; the French had the support of the Indians and scored several victories at first  The British were able to defeat the French through their use of their strong navy; the French were unable to reinforce their garrisons and forts, which led to British victories throughout the French territory

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